So­lar train the an­swer to cli­mate change?

The Northern Star - - NEWS -

A CLI­MATE con­trol an­a­lyst said By­ron Bay’s so­lar train could be the an­swer to slash­ing trans­port emis­sions in Aus­tralia.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port from the Cli­mate Coun­cil’s Cities Power Part­ner­ship, By­ron Bay’s world-lead­ing so­lar train is spear­head­ing a new wave of re­new­able-pow­ered pub­lic trans­port that can help to slam the brakes on cli­mate change.

The re­port, Wait­ing for the Green Light: Sus­tain­able Trans­port So­lu­tions for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, shows that re­new­able-pow­ered trans­port can help to re­duce Aus­tralia’s wors­en­ing trans­port pol­lu­tion prob­lem, which saw ve­hi­cle green­house gas emis­sions rise by 3.4 per cent dur­ing 2017.

Cli­mate Coun­cil en­ergy an­a­lyst Pe­tra Stock said the By­ron Bay so­lar train was an iconic “red rat­tler” train re­fur­bished to have 6kW rooftop so­lar pan­els and 77kWh of bat­tery stor­age units, is an Aus­tralian-first, that if adopted wider could slash trans­port emis­sions in Aus­tralian cities and towns.

“Aus­tralia needs to act quickly to re­duce trans­port pol­lu­tion, and By­ron Bay is lead­ing the way with the first fully-so­lar pow­ered train,” she said.

“Re­new­able-pow­ered pub­lic trans­port is the fu­ture of travel, and it’s no sur­prise that By­ron Shire, one of Aus­tralia’s most sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties, is steam­ing ahead.”

The so­lar train, which made its first emis­sions free 6km round trip jour­ney be­tween By­ron Bay sta­tion and North Beach in De­cem­ber 2017, is able to make be­tween 12 and 15 trips on one full charge.

By­ron Mayor Si­mon Richard­son said the so­lar train, which runs along a pop­u­lar tourist route, is part of the area’s low-car­bon trans­port net­work, which in­cludes plans for an elec­tric ve­hi­cle fast-charg­ing net­work as well as an ex­ten­sive ar­ray of cy­cling and walk­ing tracks.

“By­ron is on its way to be­com­ing a zero-emis­sions com­mu­nity, and we’re com­mit­ted to driv­ing down lo­cal trans­port pol­lu­tion and en­sur­ing that our town re­mains clean, quiet and ac­ces­si­ble,” he said

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