Blueprint launched for Australia's first zero net energy town

Uralla today saw the launch of the blueprint for what could be Australia’s first renewable energy self-sufficient town.

Solar panels detail

The first town-scale energy blueprint has been developed for Uralla on the NSW Northern Tablelands, with energy savings of up to 70 per cent through energy efficiency and on-site generation.

'The aim of the blueprint is to identify how an Australian community could satisfy all its energy needs from renewable energy, in a way that is competitive in terms of price, quality, security and reliability,' Environment Minister Mark Speakman said in Uralla today.

Funded through the Government’s Renewable Energy Action Plan, the Zero Net Energy Town (ZNET) blueprint has the potential to attract renewable energy investment, to build community support and to increase local renewable energy expertise. 

'The Uralla project has been an exciting and ambitious challenge, with the blueprint providing a model for other NSW towns.

 'Uralla has about 2,500 energy customers spending approximately $12 million each year to meet their energy needs,' Mr Speakman said. 

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, said this initiative is a demonstration of the commitment of the NSW Government to a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy future for households and businesses in NSW. 

'The share of renewable energy in NSW’s electricity generation mix has almost doubled in the past 5 to 6 years. In 2013, almost 13 percent of our energy generation came from renewable sources. 

'There are currently estimated to be more than 13,000 jobs supported by renewable energy in NSW. This includes 4,400 direct renewable energy jobs'.