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.