Australian solar city projects have been around for the last couple of years - some participating cities have programs well under way with others due to launch soon.
Each solar city is a testing ground for energy efficiency measures, the use of solar power and community education. The information generated by the projects will be studied to determine how members in a community can most effectively reduce energy consumption and how governments and industry can support energy efficiency initiatives.
Residents of participating solar cities can take advantage of financial incentives and support, the levels and type of benefits varying from project to project. Solar Cities projects have been funded by the Federal Government to the tune of the $94 million in total.
Australia's Solar Cities are Adelaide, Alice Springs, Blacktown, Central Victoria, Moreland, Perth and Townsville. Click on the links below for more detail on support and incentives available in each project area.
Adelaide Solar City - Launched on 6 October 2007. The Council areas of Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Playford and Adelaide City are the key focus of the Adelaide project.
Alice Springs Solar City - Launched on 10 March 2008. Alice Springs receives one of the highest levels of sunshine in the country and approximately 50 per cent of all households are already using solar hot water systems.
Blacktown Solar City - Launched on 28 July 2007. Located in Western Sydney, one of Blacktown's challenges issues is the high summer energy demand for major appliances.
Central Victoria Solar City - To be launched in late 2009. The Central Victoria Solar City consortium involves 14 central Victorian areas, including Bendigo and Ballarat. The program will target 2500 households and 100 businesses across the Central Victorian region.
Moreland Solar City - The Moreland Solar City project is currently preparing for a community launch. Zero Carbon Moreland aims to sign up 10 per cent of the Moreland community to commit to reducing greenhouse pollution by 20% by 2010.
Perth Solar City - Launch will occur in late 2009. The project involves the installation of smart meters, solar hot water systems and solar panels.
Townsville Solar City - The Townsville Solar City was launched on 13 September 2008 and focuses on Magnetic Island and the city of Townsville, including Rocky Springs, Riverway and the Townsville Central Business District.