Watched our neat little animation above, but still got a bit more time to spare? Great. Let’s tell you a little more.
Trigeneration will play a major role in achieving our target of 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (based on 2006 levels) as part of Sydney 2030.
Why? A big part of it is because trigeneration is locally produced. Currently, our electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants across Australia, which is pumped to our city via the national electricity grid through a network of poles, wires and substations. At these power stations, two-thirds of the energy is lost and even more is lost transporting it to us. By the time the power reaches our businesses and homes, just over 30 per cent of what is produced is actually used. What’s more, almost half your electricity bill is made up of these network charges.
The other big plus is trigeneration generates three forms of energy – cooling, heat and power. Natural or renewable gas is burned in an engine that turns a generator to make electricity. Like your car, the engine gets hot. Like the heater in your car, the heat from the engine can be captured and used – in this case it’s used for heating buildings and hot water. Through a process called absorption cooling, which works like a fridge in reverse, the heat can also be turned into cooling, and can be used for air-conditioning.
The City of Sydney plans to create a network of trigeneration plants in the city so businesses can plug into them. Considering most emissions in the city come from commercial buildings, which use a lot of heating and cooling, this will significantly reduce our emissions as well as avoid most of our current network charges. In fact, buildings connected to the network could reduce emissions by up to 60 per cent.
You can view and comment on the Trigeneration Master Plan, which includes detailed case studies, information on low-carbon zones and local hot spots while it’s on exhibition until Wednesday 22 August 2012.