Industry orgs praise City of Sydney solar efforts

13th Jun 2013

The City of Sydney has come in for praise from two renewable industry organisations for its sustainable strategies – despite pulling the plug on a new power plant initiative.

The local government authority received plaudits from both Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) and the Clean Energy Council (CEC) for its environmentally-friendly efforts, including solar power schemes.

BZE building researcher Trent Hawkins said: "The City of Sydney is to be congratulated for proceeding with their solar power, LED street lighting, and buildings energy efficiency programs.

"These kinds of measures pave the way for real, deep cuts to emissions."

And it didn't stop there. CEC chief executive David Green also weighed in with positive comments, highlighting the council's work on retrofitting buildings for increased energy efficiency.

"The City of Sydney has been a pioneer in championing the increased use of cleaner forms of energy such as solar, wind, bioenergy and tri-generation," he remarked.

City of Sydney abandons plant plans

These comments came as the local government authority announced it was dumping plans to develop a tri-generation plant in Green Square.

Tri-generation produces energy through heating and cooling from a single power source.

Despite agreeing on the positive impact the City of Sydney is having on the local community with its renewable energy plans – the CEC and BZE stood at opposite sides of the spectrum on the tri-generation issue.

BZE admitted it was delighted the proposals weren't going ahead, adding that it had opposed the idea from the very start.

The campaign group said the council claimed the project would run on renewable gas, yet the resources needed to keep it going would have encompassed biogas deposits from a 250 km radius around Sydney.

"That's a huge demand for a very limited renewable resource, and it was never going to stack up financially or ecologically," Mr Hawkins explained.

Instead, the organisation urged for the council to continue with its solar power and wind plans, particularly in regards to reducing energy consumption in CBD commercial offices.

However, the CEC argued tri-generation is an "excellent technology" that is around twice as efficient as traditional energy generation.

The organisation added that while the Green Square project will not be going ahead, it was pleased the technology would still be used in the town hall and the Queen Victoria Building.

"The many steps the council is taking will provide an extremely useful template for other local councils," Mr Green said.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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