Media releases

Sydney’s renewables push wins international support

Published 5 December 2016

The City of Sydney has been selected for support by the innovative City Solutions Platform, which will advise on the most effective way to invest $10 million to accelerate renewable energy locally.

Following the C40 Mayor’s Summit in Mexico City, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s ambitious target for net zero emissions by 2050 meant half the area’s electricity needed to come from renewables by 2030, and even earlier in the City’s own operations with 50 per cent renewables by 2021.

"Like many cities across the world, Sydney faces serious environmental challenges,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Returning from the United Nations climate talks in Paris last year, we saw clearly the urgent need to produce more renewable energy in Sydney and to reduce our reliance on the coal power – and we set aside $10 million in our environment strategy for renewable energy.

“Our challenge is that while buying more solar panels or investing in another trigeneration plant are good options, they won’t go far enough to reach our target of 50 per cent renewable energy across our area by 2030.

“We’ve come to the City Solutions Platform with this challenge – to determine the most effective way to use $10 million to create as much renewable energy as possible, within the earliest time frame while engaging directly with businesses and residents.”

The City Solutions Platform is a joint effort from C40 Cities, the International Cleantech Network and Danish cleantech cluster CLEAN to accelerate climate solutions in cities around the world.

“We’re already installing one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar programs on our own buildings, trialling a network-scale battery for local grid operators at one of our depots, and providing grant funding for innovative projects such as the first solar cooperative in Australia, appropriately enough for a brewery, and new models for helping people living in apartments install and share solar power – important because three quarters of our residents live in apartments,” the Lord Mayor said.

“To meet our ambitious renewable energy targets we need room to try new and innovative approaches to tackling these challenges.

“We’ve established a $10 million renewable energy fund to accelerate uptake, with options including voluntary purchase agreements by local businesses, more community renewables, and coordinating a ‘reverse auction’ where renewable energy developers bid to supply power at the cheapest price.

“We don’t have all the answers yet, which is why we applied for support from the City Solutions Platform – and we are thrilled to have been selected. This will be a platform for us to access international expertise on how to make the best use of our funds to scale up renewable energy, and to collaborate and share our lessons with other cities.”

“This platform will call on world leading expertise and engage with leading thinkers across the globe to design a solution for Sydney which is commercial, attractive, and works within our regulatory framework.

“The City Solutions Platform will accelerate the uptake and leverage a far greater amount of renewable energy than if the City were to go it alone.”

The Lord Mayor visited Mexico City where she also accepted a C40 Cities Award for the CitySwitch Green Office program, a joint-entrant from the City of Sydney and the City of Melbourne.

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore in Mexico City, please contact Matt Levinson on 0499 319 385 or

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Alex Cauchi on 0467 803 815 or