Australia’s largest city, Sydney, has officially shifted to 100% renewable energy, the city announced on July 1st.
How Did Such a Large City Implement Such a Massive Energy Plan?
Upon first glance, it may seem extremely confusing how a large city could shift to such an eco-friendly energy plan so efficiently. It is important to note, however, that Sydney has always taken steps to address the dangerous effects of climate change in the energy sector. In 2007, it went carbon neutral, and in 2011, it became the first Australian city to be certified as such. Additionally, in 2016, it announced a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. In accordance with these green initiatives, in October of 2019, the city announced an estimated $60 million deal with several Australian renewable energy companies, which it would invest in and buy energy from.. Currently, the city plans to generate its energy from 3 renewable sources: 2 large solar farms and 1 large wind farm. Bob Hayward, a representative of Shoalhaven Solar Farm, one of the companies part of the deal, explained: “Shoalhaven Solar Farm could not have become operational without the City’s investment. By partnering with this project, we’re creating local jobs and helping the renewables sector grow”. This is indeed true: amid this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, millions of jobs have been lost, and by investing in local companies and energy farms, Sydney is undoubtedly providing hundreds of jobs to the community. In fact, a recent report by CleanTechnica revealed that in Australia itself, renewable energy companies would indirectly produce 3 times as many jobs as fossil fuel companies.
Sydney Mayor Clover Moore was naturally proud of the achievement. She stated, “We are in the middle of a climate emergency. If we are to reduce emissions and grow the green power sector, all levels of government must urgently transition to renewable energy. Cities are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.”
While Sydney is the first Australian city (and one of the world’s first cities) to completely move to renewable energy sources, it is not far fetched to think that many other cities will do the same in the future.