Council-led research efforts into affordable, community shared renewable energy through micro electricity grids, adequate charging facilities for future fleets of electronic vehicles and diverting food waste from landfill have been boosted with new funding support this week.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) awarded the latest round of funding through its LGNSW Research and Innovation Fund, which supports research projects that drive innovation and collaboration, test new ideas and have broad sector application.
LGNSW President Linda Scott said the high calibre council projects underlined local government’s commitment to face climate change conditions by driving innovation that led to zero net greenhouse gas emissions across the State.
“Reducing toxic emissions is critical to address the impacts of climate change, which have contributed to the challenges of drought, bushfires and floods that have devastated NSW over the past 12 months. It is pleasing to see councils taking a lead role through these latest projects,” Cr Scott said.
“Campbelltown City Council’s Creating a Spark – energy sharing communities research aims to find ways of creating low cost, low emission and renewable energy by utilising residential energy sharing schemes and micro grids.
“Lake Macquarie City Council is investigating the complex challenges of ensuring future capacity for charging for council’s fleet vehicles as they go through an ‘electrification’ process without straining existing grids.
“Bathurst Regional Council’s Closing the Gap on Food Waste project aims to trial new models of domestic and commercial food waste collection to divert food waste from limited landfill space. This could not only save landfill but also turn the food waste into a re-usable organic product.”
Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said the three projects will share in $52,000 from the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund.
“We know we need to be innovative to reach our goal of net zero emissions by 2050, and this funding is about supporting councils to get creative local community solutions off the ground,” Mr Kean said.
“We know we can’t reach our goal alone, that’s why collaboration across all levels of government to support our innovators, researchers and businesses to deliver local projects that contribute to the State’s goal is so important.”
The NSW Government and LGNSW will be delivering a series of webinars in 2021 that will offer tailored support and resources to local council staff looking for support in transitioning to net zero emissions in their council operations and communities.