This week, council is expected to put its Long Term Renewable Energy Strategy on exhibition for a month for public comment.
This is an important document for both council and the community and I hope everyone who is interested in the topic takes the time to make a submission, long or short.
The main goal in the recommended strategy is for council to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2027.
Our council area is already a leader in Australia in terms of household uptake of solar photovoltaic and solar hot water.
Council already has four sizeable solar PV systems in place, delivering 272kW in total or 1.6 per cent of council's total energy consumption – at Port Macquarie Library, Wauchope Rural Fire Service building, the Glasshouse and council's main administration building.
Council's biggest energy consumption is from water and sewerage pump stations, followed by lighting for streets and buildings.
The 2027 goal is to be reached in three parts.
First, council will continue to implement energy efficiency initiatives across its operations, with a view to increasing efficiency and reducing energy demand. Progress in this task will be reported annually to councillors and the community.
Second, investigate and implement a number of small to medium sized PV projects and possible battery storage in the medium term, to 2021.
Wind, biochar, biogas and micro-hydro would also be considered.
Third, investigate and implement one or more medium to large scale projects, installed by 2027.
In view of the rapid changes taking place in renewables technology, council will periodically seek advice on advances, to guide its decisions.
An important part of the strategy is funding, including how long it will take for savings to recoup the costs.
- These are Cr Intemann's opinions and not necessarily council's.