On the 1st of October, Canberra is will become the first major city outside of Europe to be powered completely by renewable energy.
Canberra is currently waiting for the third stage of the Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia to come online, which will feed renewable power to Canberra and the surrounding communities of the ACT.
“This shows that states and territories are leading the way on climate action while national governments often lag behind. Australia is a perfect example.”
When it does come online, however, Canberra will be a member of a very exclusive group of cities worldwide that can claim being powered by renewable energy, with three cities in Germany and Austria, and one city in Spain that can currently make the same claim.
According to reports, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein can claim being the most populated area in the world to make the switch to a combination of wind and solar power to provide power for its 2.9-million residents.
In this case, Canberra’s energy demands will be met by a combination of wind and solar projects, linked to the ACT government’s ‘reverse auction’ policy, which includes the Hornsdale farm, amongst others. That reverse auction policy enables supporters of renewable energy projects to supply the ACT with clean energy, incentivised by feed-in tariffs.
Richie Merzian, energy program director at the Australia Institute praised Canberra and the ACT for being a “renewable energy trailblazer.”
“This shows that states and territories are leading the way on climate action while national governments often lag behind. Australia is a perfect example,” he said.
According to the Canberra Times, “the study’s release comes after the ACT government this week unveiled its new climate action strategy, which provides a roadmap for reaching its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2045.”
Shane Rattenbury, the ACT’s Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability said that “the ACT is recognised as a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has some of the most ambitious emission reduction targets of any jurisdiction in the world.”
Rattenbury continued to explain that “through our world-leading transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity, we have demonstrated that our bold leadership can create opportunities for our region, in business development, training and education.”