Bright future for buyers in green Sydney
Exciting things are happening in Sydney, where the City Council is working on turning Australia's biggest city into its green hub.
Sydney plans on cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 70 per cent by 2030. The cornerstone of this ambitious plan is its focus on renewable energy and trigeneration. The Council believes these will eventually meet 100 per cent of Sydney's energy needs - 30 per cent from renewables and 70 per cent from trigeneration.
While most everyone is familiar with renewable energy, trigeneration is still a largely obscure term. The process involves three simultaneous outputs - one from gas-fired engines, one from low-carbon electricity and the use of hot and cold water to control the temperature in buildings - hence the 'tri'. Such energy production can run a whole building or precinct.
Other planned initiatives include the creation of a recycled water network for activities like watering gardens, which would save drinking water for Sydney residents, and the increased use of waste treatment facilities that recover energy from recycled rubbish. $12 million has been set aside for renewable energy spending over the next five years.
These efforts are nothing new for Sydney, which became carbon neutral years ago. It recently completed a $6.9 million modernisation of 45 City properties that will cut energy and water use by 20 per cent - and more importantly, save residents more than $1 million a year in bills. Its pioneering LED lighting project is also the talk of the town, having installed 2,620 energy-efficient LED street lights across the city. Not only has this slashed carbon emissions by 27 per cent, it will reduce electricity bills by $800,000 a year. This makes Sydney a highly desirable location for buying a property.
Also on the agenda is the 278 hectare Green Square being constructed 3.5km from the city centre in the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland. The Green Square is projected to provide a vibrant and sustainable living space for 40,000 new residents by 2030.
Architect Richard Francis-Jones has also suggested new high rise developments be constructed within solar access planes, the revenue from which will help fund a series of green parks stretching past the Harbour Bridge.
With the recent release of reports from the UN and the United States government warning of the impending and far-reaching consequences of climate change, these initiatives are timely. They not only suggest that Sydney is seriously considering and meeting the challenges of the future, but also bode well for the city's future growth and livability. It looks as though anyone considering an investment property has bright prospects in Sydney.