City Of Sydney (Council) To Go 100% Renewable (Electricity)

City of Sydney - solar power

In a decision endorsed by Council this week, the City of Sydney has committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy sources to meet its electricity needs.

The City has already installed solar panels on dozens of its buildings. Among its current installations:

  • Sydney Town Hall – 240 panels (48kW)
  • Redfern Oval – 211 panels (55kW)
  • Surry Hills – 32 panels
  • Alexandra Canal Depot – 1,663 panels + Tesla Powerpack (500kWh)
  • Victoria Park Pool – 260 panels (65kW)
  • Green Square childcare centre

Some of the installs date back to 2009.

Through its own solar installations and other energy efficiency efforts to date, the City says it has reduced electricity consumption by 26 per cent since 2006. Solar savings aside, $800,000 a year has been saved just through the installation of 6,500 LEDs in street lights .

Last year, City of Sydney’s sustainability director Chris Derksema said Council wanted every rooftop in its portfolio to be fitted with solar panels by 2021, where cost-effective.  The City plans to have more than 7,800 panels installed by that time.

But That Won’t Be Enough

For the electricity it consumes that it can’t produce the equivalent of itself, City of Sydney will source it from “community-generated” wind and solar power facilities for its large sites and offset the carbon emissions associated with the electricity used at small sites1.

“Acting on climate change is the City’s top priority. We were among the first to set science-based targets in 2008 and since then we’ve reduced our emissions by 20 percent on 2005 levels,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “This decision by Council will allow us to achieve our commitment to reduce emissions by 70 per cent, ten years ahead of our own 2030 deadline, well on the way to net-zero by 2050.”

The City of Sydney is also encouraging local businesses and residents to meet half the local area’s electricity demand with renewable sources by 2030, either through installations or options such as GreenPower. Analysis by the Australian PV Institute released in 2018 indicated there was enough suitable rooftop space in Sydney’s CBD alone to host 619MW of solar capacity, which would generate equivalent to 22% of the CBD’s electricity requirements.

The City of Sydney’s area covers just over 26 square kilometres – from Sydney Harbour at Rushcutters Bay, to Glebe and Annandale in the west, and from Sydney Park and Rosebery in the south to Centennial Park and Paddington in the east.

“For too long, our state and federal governments have failed to take action to address accelerating climate change. That’s why cities must lead the way,” said Mayor Moore.

Some certainly are – earlier this year, City Of Melbourne (council) laid claim to being the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity.

The City of Sydney is one of more than 100 councils across Australia, representing almost 11 million Australians,  that are members of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership.


  1. There’s all sorts of offsets available; it’s assumed these would be renewables-based as well – and the right ones
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Hey everyone,

    These bills are just killing me. I’m fed up with paying to some fat lazy morons who just do nothing and suck money out of people for small amount of current. Too bad though that I don’t know anything about installing some kind of solar panel or such. Maybe there is some good videos or books?

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