Next week Council will decide whether to proceed with the installation of our very own trigeneration plant at Sydney Town Hall. Trigeneration is an efficient way of producing local energy, heating and cooling that creates far less carbon pollution than coal-fired power plants.
Powering Sydney Town Hall and Town Hall House with trigeneration will improve our energy efficiency by up to 20 per cent, compared with energy from the coal-fired grid that is transmitted from hundreds of kilometres away.
Recent media reports suggest TransGrid - the company that maintains the energy network - is worried about the reliability of its aging infrastructure. There is concern that TransGrid face $430 million worth of repairs and upgrades to cables that supply electricity to the inner city.
The City will encourage TransGrid to explore options like trigeneration which can improve the reliability and efficiency of local energy supply before spending hundreds of millions of dollars propping up an out-dated network.
While our State and Federal Governments continue to ignore their responsibility on climate change, the City is taking action.
Recently I visited major cities in China including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Beijing and Wuhan. While there is still plenty of work to be done, there is no doubt China is serious about taking action to reduce its environmental impact.
A main priority of the Chinese Government's current national five year plan is sustainable growth and going green and each city in China has been tasked with fulfilling these priorities.
Shenzhen has established a successful emissions trading scheme. The city is one of seven cities chosen by their national government to trial the scheme.
It's not hard to draw the conclusion that we could see China introduce a national emissions trading scheme before Australia, putting them at an economic advantage.
The Mayor of Beijing outlined his plans to transform Beijing from an economic hub to a sustainable hub, fuelled by renewable energy to reduce reliance on coal. The Chinese government has a 50,000 megawatt trigeneration target - bigger than Australia's entire National Electricity Market.
I am pleased that Sydney and Waverley Council are working with Westfield to establish trigeneration in Bondi Junction.