18 February 2010 – The City of Sydney aims to remove its dependence on coal-fired electricity and increase its self sufficiency in low-carbon energy supplies, including up to 330 MWe of new ‘trigeneration’ (heat, power and cooling) capacity, to and beyond 2030.
The City has appointed a prominent British decentralized energy expert, Allan Jones, to take up the role of Chief Development Officer, Energy and Climate Change.
Coal-fuelled power generation is currently responsible for 80% of Sydney’s greenhouse gas emissions, in an inefficient system where about one-third of the original fuel energy is converted to electricity and two-thirds lost as steam to the atmosphere.
The Council plans to enable at least 330 MWe of combined cooling heat and power to be built around the City.
The trigeneration plants will initially be fuelled by natural gas, but designed to ensure that natural gas can be replaced by a renewable gas or fuel in the future, such as biogas or syngas or even methanol/hydrogen, says the City.
It is expected that trigeneration plants, when combined with demand reduction measures, will provide approximately 70% of the electricity requirements for the City in 2030.
The City is now focused on understanding the best way to implement trigeneration across Sydney, and says it will be working with selected consultants to develop a city-wide plan to identify the optimal size and location of trigeneration plants.
Allan Jones put the English Borough of Woking on the map by taking some of its energy load off the grid with small-scale CHP, and did similar development work on decentralized energy subsequently in London.