Solar City Programs Educate about the Benefits of Solar Power
The “Solar City” Program was launched a few years ago by the federal government of Australia to educate people about solar power and its benefits for the community, the environment and for their cost of living. The ongoing program also aims to test the viability of different energy efficiency set ups and solar PV technology under variable conditions.
The collected data from the last 3 years will be soon used to introduce community based energy efficient measures, and will also help design a structured plan how the government should allot resources throughout the transition to a low carbon economy.
Currently there are 7 solar cities in the country which were established from 2007 to 2010;Adelaide, Alice Springs, Blacktown, Central Victoria, Moreland, Perth and Townsville. As of today, the solar city program has increased the uptake and usage of solar power across the 7 cities and has demonstrated the effectiveness of encouraging energy efficiency at a community level.
In June 2011 a report showed that under the solar city program more than 10,000 home energy assessments have been conducted, and over 5300 KW of solar PV has been installed, including more than 20,000 smart meters.
Adelaide Solar City
Adelaide is blessed with enormous amounts of sunshine each year making solar power a perfect solution for its peak electricity supply problems and high average domestic electricity bills. Under the solar city program massive campaigns for adopting green power will be undertaken, to compliment the significant number of Solar PV systems in Adelaide.
The use of smart meters, passive heating and cooling means, energy audits and solar hot water systems will also be a focus of the program. Major solar projects will also be involved, for e.g. the 50 KW solar PV system installed in Adelaide’s Central Bus to power the very first electric powered bus “Tindo”.
Alice Springs Solar City
The Alice Spring Solar city project will be centered in a trial feed in tariff scheme to encourage the use of solar PV systems. Special incentives will also be provided for residents who have significantly reduced their energy consumption.
Already the city has proved to be one of the country’s green energy hubs with almost 50% of its residents using solar hot water systems.
Major solar projects include 305 kW solar PV system in Crowne Plaza which is capable of generating 530 megawatt hours of electricity each year, providing about half of the hotels energy needs.
Blacktown Solar City
Launched in July 2007 the project has been supporting a solar PV financial assistance program and energy efficient packs for households and local businesses.
A new trial double pack solar power system will soon be launched in the city to produce both heat energy and electricity under one system to save roof space and money.
Central Victoria Solar City
Under the program two major solar parks will be built in the city, each using a concentrated solar PV tracking system with a combined output of 600 KW per hour. Assistance for solar PV installations in residential buildings, use of smart meters, solar hot water systems and energy audits will also be a focus of the program.
Moreland Solar City
The Moreland project is a massive awareness campaign to drive energy efficiency among its residence. The project will also be formulating a community based approach to adopt groundbreaking discoveries in the renewable energy field. The consortium of Moreland will also be looking for ways to adopt sustainable home designs and practical methods to assess and install effective energy efficiency measures.
A sub program will also be included to provide energy efficient opportunities and develop strategic and cost effective means suited for to the city’s low income sector.
Perth Solar City
Under the Perth Solar City program, 5 major solar PV projects (all capable of generating 60 KW per hour) and twelve demonstration projects will be built to show to the public how solar power can benefit the city and its residents.
A sub focus will also include an assistance program for solar PV installation, energy audits and smart meter usage.
Townsville Solar City
Under the program a 1 MW solar PV system will be granted to selected businesses and households and provide assistance in energy efficient measures for the rest of the city. The Townsville Solar City won the Queensland Regional Award from the 2011 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Australasia for its excellence in community engagement and support mechanisms.
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