​9 Aussie Towns Going 100% Renewable

22.06.16 By
This article is more than 8 years old

Towns and communities across Australia are waiting for no one – they’re stepping up to deliver decisive climate action themselves!

Here are nine Aussie towns aiming for 100% renewables.

1. Newstead, VIC

Goal: 100% renewables within 5 years

Renewable Strategy: A dual focus on energy efficiency and increased generation: likely to include a mixture of rooftop solar and localised storage.

Fun Fact: The ground-breaking agreement signed in 2016 between energy company Powercor and local group Newstead 2021 marks the first of its kind between a distribution network and a community – working together to transition to 100% renewable energy.

Read more here.

2. Tyalgum, NSW

Goal: 100% renewables + first town to go off-grid

Renewable Strategy: Two approaches are being discussed: either every house and business will get their own solar power and battery storage system, or a hub will be constructed in the centre of town as a communal energy source.

Fun Fact: Tyaglum is in a geographically perfect location to go completely off-grid, as it’s right on the end of the power line just an hour’s drive north-west of Byron Bay.

Read more here.

3. Uralla, NSW

Goal: 100% renewables

Renewable Strategy: Stage one focuses on measures like increased LED lighting, improved home insulation and rooftop solar panels. Stage two focuses more on large-scale mechanisms to generate renewable energy.

Fun Fact: This NSW town created a government-sponsored blueprint for other towns to follow in their footsteps: the Z-net (zero-net energy producers) project.

Read more here.

4. Huntlee, NSW

Goal: Australia’s first off-grid suburb

Huntlee is currently the subject of a $1.1million study supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to determine whether it could go completely off-grid!

Renewable Strategy: A combination of solar power stored in a central battery storage facility, a membrane bioreactor recycled water plant, and other technologies to maximise efficiency in water usage. All these installations would be supported by geothermal engineering networks.

Fun Fact: The study has shown that the proposed renewable strategy would be cost-competitive, if not cheaper, than getting electricity from the grid.

Read more here.

5. Coffs Harbour, NSW

Goal: 100% renewables by 2030 (25% by 2020, 50% by 2025).

Renewable Strategy: The Coffs Harbour Renewable Energy Emissions Reduction Plan (REERP) is still under discussion, but solar power and green energy technologies will likely play a major role.

Fun Fact: In 2004, Coffs Harbour introduced energy-efficient street lighting across its entire local government area – the first council to do so. In 2010, they installed the largest public rooftop solar power system in NSW, saving $30,000 per year in electricity costs.

Read more here.

6. Byron Bay, NSW

Goal: Net zero emissions by 2025.

Renewable Strategy: Supporting community-based renewable energy developments, creating Australia’s first community energy retailer, plus rooftop solar panels for houses and businesses. The strategy will also focus on land use, green building practices, and efficient waste and transport systems (e.g. electric cars!).

Fun Fact: Byron Bay will be the first town or council in Australia to adopt the plan created by think tank Beyond Zero Emissions.

Read more here.

7. Mullumbimby, NSW

Goal: 100% renewables

Renewable Strategy: Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM) is at the heart of Mullum’s push to go renewable, with the town already in the process of installing several large solar farms. One major project in the works is a 60kW rooftop solar system on a sewage plant!

Fun Fact: COREM was established in 2014 to help create community-owned renewable energy projects, where profits are retained locally and support further sustainable development.

Read more here.

8. Lismore, NSW

Goal: 100% renewables by 2023

Renewable Strategy: Lismore is in the process of installing numerous solar arrays, plus implementing energy efficiency and community-owned projects.

Fun Fact: In 2010, Lismore installed rooftop solar panels on the art gallery, neighbourhood centre and several other buildings. They’re also installing a solar hot water system at the main swimming pool which will reduce electricity use by 75%!

Read more here.

9. Yackandandah, VIC

Goal: 100% renewables by 2022 (or in their words, to achieve “energy sovereignty”)

Renewable Strategy: The transition plan led by Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) involves firstly, improving energy efficiency; and secondly, increasing generation through rooftop solar, battery storage for homes and businesses, plus other technologies that would outlast night-time demand and cloudy days.

Fun Fact: Totally Renewable Yackandandah are guided by the “3 D’s”: Decarbonising, Decentralising, and Democratising the local energy supply. This community spirit is already evident in the many community-owned public services. AND 28.7% of households already have rooftop solar power!

Read more here.