Sustainable Energy

A Sustainable Energy Strategy (PDF, 1912.14 KB) (opens in a new window) is underway to increase the utilisation of renewable energy and set a path towards a goal of carbon neutrality. The strategy addresses buying cleaner energy, local generation with renewables, and energy efficiency, along with other factors contributing to carbon neutrality such as sustainable transport, waste management, and supply chain arrangements.


Key Strategies Emerging

The Sustainable Energy Strategy (PDF, 1912.14 KB) (opens in a new window) builds upon an assessment of our baseline energy usage, and builds steps of a pragmatic implementation plan towards quantified targets. This builds upon lessons learned from a range of energy efficiency initiatives already implemented across our campuses, along with modular trials of contemporary solar solutions for rooftops, carparks and solar farm elements.

Management Initiatives Underway

A range of energy-efficiency initiatives have been developed and implemented across Western campuses, including:

  • Construction of Green Star buildings and energy efficient refurbishments
  • Peak-load shedding at Parramatta through campus level monitoring and Building Management System (BMS) networks
  • Use of high-efficiency solar hot water heating for central plant
  • Trial of voltage optimisation at substation scale on Hawkesbury campus
  • Guidelines and implementation of energy-efficient lighting (e.g. LEDs), HVAC and control mechanisms.
The Sustainable Energy Strategy (PDF, 1912.14 KB) (opens in a new window) incorporates action plans addressing:
  • Setting achievable targets, supported by management and cost-effective technology
  • Aligning Western strategies with trends in decarbonisation of the grid
  • Sourcing electricity from renewable energy sources via market-based methods
  • Expanding campus solar PV to reduce peak-load and achieve savings in grid electricity
  • Continuing to implement energy efficiency to reduce demand and improve facilities
  • Developing a fleet strategy towards carbon abatement
  • Coordinating waste, supply chain and offset strategies towards carbon neutrality.

Related Living Lab Initiatives

Compliance Requirements and Risk

Mandatory annual reporting for National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme (opens in a new window) (NGER). Risks include financial costs, supply continuity, reputational loss.

Trends and Interdependencies

Trends in energy use continue to increase, though this is influenced by the changing footprint of Western’s campuses, and changes in reporting inclusions.

Energy usage and sourcing renewable supplies contributes to both mitigation and adaptation actions for climate change.


2020Strategies for path to renewables / carbon neutrality and peak-load reduction
2025100% renewables in electricity supply; Peak-load strategy implemented
2030Carbon neutrality

Initiatives and Case Studies

Sustainable Energy Strategy

The development of a Sustainable Energy Strategy (PDF, 1912.14 KB) (opens in a new window) is underway, incorporating: baseline and business as usual forecasts; assessment of measures to achieve potential outcomes; and costing, resourcing and planning to achieve recommended targets.

Action plans have been identified with clear objectives, measurable targets, estimated costings and recommended program, including those for: leadership, grid decarbonisation, buying cleaner energy, local generation (with renewables), energy efficiency, sustainable transport, waste management, supply chain, and carbon neutral and offsets.

In support of this strategy and action plans, data stewardship strategies are underway, building upon our yearly National Greenhouse Energy Reporting (opens in a new window) (NGER), to establish baseline data and KPIs for progress towards targets including carbon neutrality. Emissions data are reported yearly to the Clean Energy Regulator (opens in a new window), with focus on fuels and gas (Scope 1) and grid electricity (Scope 2), but not the other activities which contribute to carbon abatement (Scope 3).

Renewable Energy and Pilot Modules

A number of on-site solar panels and hot water systems have been established across Western campuses. Previous solar  installations include those on Kingswood, Hawkesbury campus, Werrington, and the new Science Building at Parramatta campus. High efficiency solar hot water heaters are increasingly used for central energy plants, including a large array on Parramatta campus.

To inform the roll-out of on-site solar generation, pilot modules are being developed and tested for rooftop, carpark and land-based applications. High efficiency rooftop solar with batteries, and an adjacent carpark solar structure are being trialled at Kingswood, with an innovative east-west solar farm design planned for trial at Hawkesbury campus.

Solar Engineering

SDGs 4, 7, 11,13