Natural gas is a finite resource. Once it is depleted, it cannot be renewed. It is extracted from coal beds and consists primarily of methane. Methane is 72 times worse than carbon dioxide — the most well-known carbon pollutant — as a greenhouse gas.
The City of Sydney plans to use natural gas as the primary fuel to transition away from coal-fired electricity towards low-carbon energy by using a method of energy production known as trigeneration.
Trigeneration burns gas to generate electricity while capturing waste heat, and conducting absorption cooling to heat and cool buildings. Trigeneration is also sometimes referred to as combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP).
The City of Sydney's plan is for trigeneration to provide about 70% of the electricity of the city by 2030. In this way, it seeks to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% from “business as usual” projections for 2030 — with an overall target of achieving a 70% reduction (from 2006 levels) in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
But a transition to 100% renewable energy is possible by investing in commercially viable solutions to produce energy from renewable resources, such as solar thermal and wind.
This would remove the city’s dependence on coal-fired electricity, and improve energy efficiency, stabilise energy costs, create jobs and produce a zero-carbon economy for the city, making Sydney a world leader in clean energy and sustainable living.