Kingston City Council Declares Climate Emergency

City of Kingston climate emergency and solar energy

Victoria’s Kingston City Council has declared a climate emergency, joining dozens of other local governments across Australia to have done so.

The City of Kingston is situated in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, around 15 kilometres from the city’s CBD. Among its many suburbs are Aspendale,  Carrum, Clayton South, Mentone and Mordialloc.

Council’s declaration, which also included an ecological emergency, calls on the state and federal government to step up to the plate and do the same. It also contains commitment to action, including developing a climate emergency response plan focusing on policy and actions related to mitigation.  Prior to this, Council had already been taking actions to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Council has committed to reducing corporate emissions by a minimum of 30% by 2020 and achieving zero emissions by 2050, but there’s a lot more we can be doing,” said Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley.

Solar Energy And The City Of Kingston

One of the actions Council has and will continue to take relates to solar power. Council has invested more than $500,000 to date for the installation of solar panels on its buildings, which include:

  • Parkdale Family and Children’s Centre
  • Westall Hub
  • Clarinda Community Centre and Library
  • Gerry Green Sports Pavilion
  • Mentone Pavilion
  • Dingley Library
  • Edithvale Life Saving Club

More solar power is in store and Council will also continue to look at ways to increase residential solar uptake within its boundaries. In its Climate Change Strategy 2018-2025, Kingston City Council set a target of seeing the number of residential solar PV installations increase from 5,650 (17,500kW approx.) in 2016 to 10,000 (30,000kW approx.) in 2025.

So, how are things going on that front? According to information from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute, there were 7,912 solar installations under 10kW capacity in the LGA as at September 30 last year, for a collective capacity of 26,618 kW. It’s taken a bit over three years to add 2,262 systems and 9,118kW capacity. Based on that progress, Council should reach its target in a canter1.

There’s certainly plenty of rooftop PV potential in the City of Kingston as only 14% of dwellings had solar panels as at September last year – the Victorian average is 17.9%.

A large-scale solar energy facility may also be on the cards, with pre-feasibility work indicating a 5MW plant is possible within the City – providing the potential for Council to either generate or purchase solar electricity for its own operations.

Climate Emergency Declaration Progress

A total of 88 Australian councils have declared a climate emergency at the time of publishing. Others to have made declarations in the past week or so are Greater Dandenong City and Manningham councils, both in Victoria. Approximately 31% of Australians are living in a local government area that has declared an emergency. A full list and further details can be found here.

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