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Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

3 December 2004

Preparation for Solar Cities under way


The Australian Government's Solar Cities trial is now a step closer with the release today of the Solar Cities Statement of Challenges and Opportunities.

Solar Cities, announced by the Prime Minister in the Energy White Paper in June this year, is a visionary initiative where solar power, energy management and electricity pricing mechanisms combine to deliver a clean energy future.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Cambell said that the Solar Cities trials will demonstrate ‘real world' options for clean and reliable energy supply and reduced demand. Over the next nine years Solar Cities will bring together governments, industry and communities in partnerships to test new sustainable models of electricity supply and use.

"Throughout Australia, there is a rising demand for electricity, particularly at peak times where it is being driven largely be demand for air-conditioning. Solar Cities is a long-term strategy to find optimal ways for businesses and communities to work together to give consumers more informed choices about the energy they use, and where all Australians have opportunities to implement change in the way they use energy." Senator Campbell said.

The Solar Cities Statement of Challenges and Opportunities sets out the scope of the programme and contains draft guidelines for comment by government, industry and community. A trial will be established in Adelaide and at least three other grid-connected urban sites around Australia which will be selected through a competitive process.

"The vision of Solar Cities has sparked the imagination of many people and already there are ideas being discussed that move beyond standard energy supply and demand solutions, and instead look at innovative packaging or streamlining of energy services and products, making it easier for consumers. So, I am keen for interested parties to help the programme into its next phase," Senator Campbell said.

Stakeholder consultations will begin on 13 December in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Comments are invited on the draft guidelines by 14 January 2005. More information is at: www.greenhouse.gov.au/solarcities

Media contact:
Minister's office 02 6277 7640
Wayne Grant 0407 845 280

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