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Finalists announced for Low Carbon challenge

Business

Ten finalists have been announced for South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize as part of a push for Adelaide to become the world’s first carbon neutral city.

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The finalists will each receive $10,000 from a total prize pool of $250,000 to progress their proposal before winners are announced in October.

Ideas ranged from an online energy monitoring system for buildings, to compact electric vehicles and using solar thermoelectric technology to shade buildings and generate energy to power them.

The finalists were selected from 150 local, national and international entries and hail from South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the United States. Other entries came from South Africa, Greece, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Taiwan, Malaysia, Colombia and France.

The Entrepreneur Prize is among a series of green initiatives helping Adelaide gain momentum in its bid to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025. It has already reduced its carbon emissions by 27 per cent between 2007 and 2013.

Last year, the Adelaide City Council and the South Australian Government together pledged to make the city carbon neutral after they signed two United Nations initiatives – The Compact of States and Regions and The Compact of Mayors – that would highlight and assess the region’s climate efforts.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese said Adelaide was well placed to achieve its goal.

“The clean, green, blue-sky positioning are three terms that are often used to describe South Australia internationally,” he said.

“Our conditions are ideally suited towards us being a leader when it comes to mitigation and adaptation.

“You look at what I call the Big Three, what’s in our grid, what’s coming out of our buildings and what’s on the city streets – and even public transport has a great deal to do with this discussion.

“We are one of the few cities that have decoupled in terms of we can empirically prove that we can improve GDP in line with carbon reduction. We have about a 28 per cent GDP growth over that period (2007-2013) and about 20 per cent reduction in operational emissions.”

Last month, renowned global environmentalist David Suzuki wrote an article on his blog about South Australia setting a renewable energy example for the rest of the world to follow.

This is an abridged version of an article first published on The Lead.

 

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