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Renewable Cities Conference 2017

posted 27 Jun 2017, 18:33 by Stuart Jones   [ updated 27 Jun 2017, 20:04 ]

What did we learn from Stuart's attendance at the Renewable Cities conference in June 2017? 

Our insights and takeaways from the 2 day event were -

  • Renewable energy offers cities and their constituent businesses compelling benefits over fossil fuels. Key among these are greater energy resilience through distributed generation, lower pollution (particularly of CO2), a whole new class of jobs and more stable prices for citizens. Cities committing to renewable energy will make a huge impact given that most of our population is based there.
  • Business and local government are leading the way in Australia, and leading well despite challenges inherent in the lack of alignment between levels of government. States are now supportive and playing catch up and the federal government is still resisting change. City of Adelaide and ACT Govt were standouts from the presentations. Lismore council, the City of Sydney and the Qld State Govt have also made good progress and have solid plans.
  • There is a lot of jargon to get your head around and differences are important for goal setting. 100% renewable is not the same as carbon neutral which is also referred to as 'net zero' by people in the sector. They are both important goals, but they mean different things and strategies to achieve your chosen goal will therefore differ if (when!) your business goes down this path.
  • Setting goals and targets is really important. Did you know that the ACT has a goal to be 100% renewable by 2020 and Lismore by 2023? Adelaide has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2025, and The Leading Partnership (that's us) by 2019 - with the help of North Sydney Council's Better Business Partnerships program? 
  • The clean energy transition is happening faster than nearly all predictive models have indicated. Renewable power is already cheaper than non-renewables and some impressively large projects are being funded on a monthly basis. The goals and targets being set by businesses and governments are within the near-term strategic time horizon.

One of the key connections with our strategy and change consulting work is that all businesses will have a role in making this transition, and it is a Board and Executive level agenda item. Moving to renewable or carbon neutral status requires planning and forethought. If you want to explore these ideas further for your business, we welcome a conversation about it. 

Stuart Jones