Starting today, the city of Sydney, Australia, will operate entirely thanks to renewable energy. The announcement comes after a $ 60 million agreement was signed in October 2019 where it was envisaged that the city would be powered by solar and wind energy in 2020.
Flow Power will be responsible for supplying power through wind and solar farms located in New South Wales. With this, the city of Sydney will save about $ 500,000 per year over the next decade and will reduce its CO2 emissions by 20,000 tons.
According to Mayor Clover Moore, three quarters of the energy comes from the wind and a quarter is from the sun. All city operations will run on renewable energy, including lighting for streets, public buildings, and Sydney City Hall.
"We are in the midst of a climate emergency. If we want to reduce emissions and grow the green energy sector, all levels of government must make an urgent transition to renewable energy," said the mayor.
The local government builds a community solar farm that can power nearly 1,000 homes in New South Wales. Sydney will harness energy from regions such as Glen Innes, Wagga Wagga, and Shoalhaven.
Sydney in search of reducing its emitions up to 70% by 2030
The decision to migrate to renewable energy is part of a government plan to reduce the city's climate impact. Sydney has been carbon neutral since 2007 and aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030. The latter is likely to happen sooner with the switch to solar and wind power applied starting today.
According to Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden, the city uses trigeneration, a process that generates electricity simultaneously through heating and cooling. This process is important when there is no sun or wind and involves proper energy management. The executive says Sydney takes a holistic approach instead of just buying energy.
In addition to Sydney, the city of Newcastle has also operated entirely with renewable energy since the beginning of 2020. The mayors of both cities hope that the rest of Australia's regions will follow suit to migrate to a greener future.
Currently more than 40 cities in the world operate 100% with renewable energy, according to a report by CDP, a non-profit organization. The 2018 study mentions Burlington, Basel and Reykjavik among those who migrated to a sustainable setting. It also registers more than 100 cities where 70% of the electricity comes from hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind energy.