NSW coal city, Newcastle, sets sights on 100 per cent renewables

The New South Wales coal city of Newcastle is zeroing in on plans to take local government operations 100 per cent renewable, after a study showed the move would deliver millions of dollars in savings.

The City said on Tuesday that a feasibility study it commissioned earlier in the year had estimated cost savings of between $3.8 million and $4.8 million to ratepayers by sourcing all of its power either directly, or via a retailer, from renewable sources.

The feasibility report had also found that market volatility and structural changes meant traditional electricity contracts of between one and three years were “no longer a low-risk approach.”

And Councillors are said to have approved a staff recommendation to “move to 100% renewable electricity supply for operations from 2020, subject to confirmation of cost effectiveness.”

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said now was the right time for the City – best known for hosting one of the world’s largest coal ports – to shift away from fossil fuels, with Council’s current electricity contracts due to expire at the end of the year.

Read the full article published in the Renew Economy 30th August 2019