Every nation on the planet is facing challenges associated with climate change, but no country seems more on the urgent edge than Australia. Naturally a warm-climate nation, the Land Down Under has made recent world headlines for its catastrophic wildfires, which killed millions of animals and created a scorching hot summer that made life miserable for Australian citizens.
Recently Australia’s largest city, Sydney, has announced it has achieved a major milestone. It gets its energy from 100% renewable sources. The power is being generated by massive wind and solar farms in New South Wales. Sydney’s clean-green energy profile translates to a reduction of 20,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.
Keep in mind that Sydney is a central borough making up a larger metropolitan area. The bottom line is that the new energy set up will mean that 250,000 people a day will get all of their power from sun and wind. Local media have called the new arrangement the “biggest green energy deal in Australian history.”
The lord mayor of Sydney is Clover Moore. She noted that cities like the one that she leads account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Moore explained that the number of emissions coming from cities has created a major responsibility on Australian leaders to step up and drive change. She also said the advantages to a green power switchover go beyond battling climate change. Going green creates jobs and lowers utility rates. More called it a “win-win-win situation.”
Sydney first achieved carbon neutral status in 2007. At that time, the city continued to derive power from fossil fuel resources, such as coal, however, it used offsets and other methods to balance carbon generation with carbon reductions and other savings.
A primary provider of solar power for Sydney are three operations, Sapphire Wind Farm, Bomen Solar Farm and Shoalhaven Solar Farm. This latter is part of a nonprofit community organization called Repower Shoalhaven which is still under development. When completed, it will provide power for 1,500 additional homes.
Sydney’s aggressive drive to go solar provided a much-needed investment to move the Repower Shoalhaven project forward, said Bob Hayward, a driving force behind the effort.