- Last updated:
- 28 Jan 2017
Council adopted the Sunshine Coast Energy Transition Plan 2010-20 on 8 December 2010.
The Energy Transition Plan details how council and the region can achieve the goal of a low carbon, low oil, resilient future for the Sunshine Coast and is supported by the Sunshine Coast Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy 2010-2020.
The Sunshine Coast’s population and economy has expanded rapidly leading to an increase in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Cheap energy, in the form of electricity and fuel, has underpinned that expansion — but this shows signs of coming to an end with both electricity and fuel prices on the rise.
Moving to cleaner and renewable energy is the way forward and will help prepare the Coast for a low carbon, low oil future — creating diverse economic opportunities along the way.
The Energy Transition Plan recognises that a global energy transition is occurring, driven by concerns about climate change and peak oil. This global energy transition presents local challenges and opportunities for the region and the Energy Transition Plan addresses these by identifying actions that will:
- assist in reducing the Sunshine Coast’s need for carbon intensive electricity and oil based fuels
- assist in creating economic opportunities through the building of clean energy capacity on the Sunshine Coast
- assist in creating a future resilient to climate change and peak oil.
Council will progressively implement the actions outlined in the plan and initially focus on three ‘spearhead’ projects:
- clean energy and solar implementation program
- establishing a sustainable biodiesel fuel industry
- implementing energy efficiency measures across council buildings, facilities and equipment.
Since the Energy Transition Plan was adopted, council has developed the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm project to offset its entire consumption of electricity each year. The 15 megawatt solar farm will be the first utility scale solar farm built by a Local Government in Australia. It will complement the 40,000 solar rooftops that have been installed by the Sunshine Coast community over the past five years. These developments substantially contribute towards the Sunshine Coast Council’s vision to be the most sustainable region in Australia – vibrant, green, diverse.
To guide council in the preparation of the Energy Transition Plan, the Energy Transition Project Reference Group was established, which included a diverse range of expertise in the energy field, as well as representatives of community groups, business, academia and government.
Council would like to acknowledge and thank the contributions of the project reference group and the community while the plan was developed.
The future risks associated with peak oil and the ensuing energy transition are explained in the Peak Oil Background Study.
The Draft Energy Transition Plan was available for public comment in October and November 2010. Council reviewed the submissions received on the draft document and considered these when finalising the Energy Transition Plan.
More than one million people are expected to settle in South East Queensland in the next 20 years. Of those, demographers anticipate that 180,000 will head for the Sunshine Coast.
That means council needs to plan for and manage this growth, understand the community’s vision, and recognise the constraints and opportunities in meeting that vision. The Plan outlines some of the challenges and opportunities in the energy field that council is now taking action on to meet that vision.
For more information please contact the Climate Change and Environmental Initiatives Unit via council's customer service centre.