Next steps on trigeneration in Sydney

When we created Sustainable Sydney 2030, you told us that taking action on climate change was one of the most important things you wanted us to do.

The City of Sydney is committed to the goal of reducing our carbon emissions by 70%, and we know the best way to do this is to test new ideas and then take the most effective steps available.

It's only through bold ideas and taking action that we can achieve change. By ignoring this issue, governments are gambling with the future of our children and our grandchildren.

The City of Sydney is carbon neutral Australian government, we've already cut carbon emissions by 19%, and we're installing energy efficient LED street lights and the country's largest building-mounted solar power system.

We're taking steps to create low-carbon trigeneration at Sydney Town Hall, however, economic and regulatory hurdles mean at this stage we can't proceed with plans for precinct based trigeneration throughout the city centre and Green Square.

After the most detailed investigation ever undertaken of renewable energy resources in and around Sydney, we now have a draft Master Plan showing how all of central Sydney's electricity, heating and cooling needs could be met from renewable electricity and gases by 2030.

Federal and State Government rule changes, the falling carbon price, restrictive electricity network regulations, gas price uncertainty, and the gradual take up rates for energy from trigeneration at Green Square have reduced the commercial case for the City's first proposed trigeneration precinct.

There are already city-wide trigeneration networks in New York, Berlin and Seoul and China has just announced a massive trigeneration action plan - but our governments have removed an incentive that allows similar precincts here to share power through the grid.

Trigeneration is important because it can reliably supply the low carbon power, heating and cooling requirements that big cities like Sydney need to function every hour of every day of the year.

Despite this recent decision, we are redoubling our efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Trigeneration remains a cost-effective way to cut emissions and provide power, heating and cooling for Sydney Town Hall, Town Hall House and the Queen Victoria Building - and we will continue our plans there because we own all three buildings.

Cities are responsible for up to 80 per cent of carbon emissions which means work to drive down emissions in cities provides the greatest opportunity for deep cuts.

We are rolling out the largest building-mounted solar installation in the country, replacing street lights with energy efficient LEDs, installing a fuel cell into Prince Alfred Park Pool, and completing a major energy efficiency retrofit of the City's buildings.

We've already cut carbon emissions by 19 per cent since 2006 and these measures put us on track to reach 29 per cent by 2016.

After the most detailed investigation ever undertaken of renewable energy resources in and around Sydney, we now have a draft plan showing how all of central Sydney's electricity, heating and cooling needs could be met from renewable electricity and gases by 2030.

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