Canberra, the Australian capital, will be the first major area in the Southern Hemisphere to shift from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy sources. From 1 January 2020, Canberra will become the eight district in the world to purchase all its energy from renewable sources, according to a report published by the Australian Institute.
The report analyzed over 500 regions around the world, with a population of over 100,000 people. The first area to go full-renewable was Rhein-Hunsruck in Germany, back in 2012; then, it was followed by three states in Austria and one region in Spain.
Canberra, with a population of almost 400,000 people, is a self-governing territory that exerts its renewable energy from large-scale wind and solar energy projects in the region and other states. Some portion comes from purchases from accredited sources and solar panels on houses.
The city has been run by a coalition between two-center left parties—the Australian Greens and the Australian Labor Party, since 2008. Aside from achieving 100% renewable electricity, the government has set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045.
Australia has a national target to generate 33 TWh of its electricity from new renewable sources by 2020—which accounts for 23.5% of the country’s energy consumption. While Australia has met this target quickly, but researchers say that it’s not enough. The greenhouse-gas emissions are still on the rise, so the government needs to come up with a more ambitious goal to encourage further investment in renewable energy projects.