Noosa leading the way on solar in Queensland

The Sunshine Coast town of Noosa claims it’s leading Queensland when it comes to solar power installation.

Noosa’s Mayor Tony Wellington said figures from the Clean Energy Regulator indicate 34% of properties in the Noosa region have installed solar panels.

This is ahead of Queensland overall where the figure is at 31.6%. According to Climate Council data, Queensland is followed by SA at 30.5% and WA at 25.4%.

Mr Wellington anticipates that local efforts to reduce emissions will provide long-term benefits for the Noosa community.

A very ZEN initiative for Noosa

While Queensland has set a target of zero net emissions by 2050, Noosa is aiming for 2026. This is being tackled through its ‘Zero Emissions Noosa’ (ZEN) group.

Noosa began its emissions reduction policy in May 2016. Its ZEN organisational strategy includes becoming a positive example to the community in sustainable resource management.

ZEN has developed several key actions for emissions reduction. This includes calculating the region’s carbon footprint, reducing emissions where possible such as through sunpower, and offsetting any emissions that remain.

A collaborative Queensland effort

Noosa is not going it all alone, however. The council recently signed up to the Climate Council’s ‘Cities Power Partnership’ (CPP).

CPP was launched in July 2017. It invites councils and communities across Australia to join and collaborate in working towards a non-polluting and sustainable future.

Cities participating in the partnership will be supported in implementing emissions reductions projects. They will also be granted exclusive access to knowledge experts, events, and the potential for grants and incentives. Partners will also be ‘buddied’ with two other cities for information sharing.

The three phases of CPP partnership are:

  1. Become a Power Partner – joining phase.
  2. Power Up – involves selecting five key actions from the partnership pledge. The key pledge areas are renewable energy, efficiency, transport, and advocacy.
  3. Power On – during this phase partners report on their progress regarding the selected key actions in a six-monthly Climate Council online survey. Partners will continue to report every six months through the survey.

So far, according to the Climate Council, 35 councils representing 200 towns and cities have signed up. This includes Noosa, Bundaberg and Douglas in Queensland. The Climate Council expects at least 50 councils to join by mid-2018.

This article first appeared on Energy Matters on 6 September 2017

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