Solar panels on football, cricket clubs will improve Australia’s climate score

US President Joe Biden is a huge sports fan. He credits exercise as an aid that gives him the confidence to overcome his speech impediment.

Sport was his ticket to acceptance and his stuttering never stopped him from screaming, “Give me the ball!” with teammates.

There is no doubt that President Biden now has the ball and is walking hard with it.

At last week’s climate summit of heads of state and government, the US committed itself to reducing its climate pollution by at least 50 percent by 2030. Britain has pledged a 78 percent cut by 2035, the EU a 46 percent cut and Japan 46 percent by 2030.

Meanwhile, Australia was alone in the locker rooms talking about a big game, but didn’t change its goal of reducing its climate impact by 26 to 28 percent.

Australia has to deal with the game of decarbonization if we are to protect our unique nature and the Australian way of life.

This means that climate pollution will be reduced over the next ten years. Science tells us that it is not safe to shoot as our target for 2050.

It should be part of a national decarbonization plan to run buildings that are used by communities on a daily basis, such as sports stadiums, club rooms, and dressing rooms, on renewable energy to reduce pollution and save money.

The construction sector emits about a fifth of Australia’s climate pollution.

Australian sport, from the elite to the community, can be an important part of the climate solution.

Source: UNSW report “Powering a Sporting Nation”

President Biden is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Eagles Stadium is powered by 11,108 solar panels and 14 wind turbines. The Eagles buy renewable energy for everything else they need.

Reviews of the Australian rules of football, cricket and soccer by the University of New South Wales and the Australian Conservation Foundation indicate that all state and national stadiums would be equipped with solar panels generate around 20,000 megawatt hours of clean energy – enough to supply 2,890 households with electricity.

And if community clubs get involved, 100,000 megawatt hours of solar energy could be generated and 310,000 tons of climate pollution saved.

The researcher Dr. Mike Roberts and his team determined that AFL’s greatest solar opportunity was at Metricon Stadium (Carrara), home of the Gold Coast Suns, which has an estimated 1,647 kilowatts of clean energy potential in the stadium and adjacent sports and leisure center .

“North Melbourne, Richmond and St. Kilda football clubs are already leading the way as they all have 100 kilowatt solar panels installed, while MCG has 99 kilowatt solar panels to power its water recycling facility,” said Dr . Roberts ahead of Tuesday’s Powering a Sporting Nation report.

“In cricket venues, the SCG has an estimated clean energy potential of 1004 kilowatts, and Football NT’s Darwin headquarters has a solar potential of 406 kilowatts for soccer.”

Clean energy is not the only goal. Setting a target to encourage solar power generation from AFL, cricket and soccer would save these sports a combined $ 3.7 million a year.

Dr. Mike Roberts led the study on how solar panels harness the benefits of solar energy in sports clubs. Photo: UNSW

The money saved could be used to attract more children to the sport and improve their physical and mental health.

Community clubs would have to cook 2.5 million sausages to raise the same amount of money to grow the game.

The response from Australian sports leaders to the threat global warming poses to the long term future of the game and the health of players and fans has been overwhelming.

The first national sports plan of the federal government, which was published in 2018, did not take climate change and its effects into account.

It’s time for the leaders of the AFL, Cricket Australia and the Football Association to learn about what communities and many businesses are already doing.

You should look at the leadership shown by the achievers at the President Biden Summit.

Australian sports administrators need to take action to reduce pollution, advocate for more urgent national climate action, and help fans and community clubs find the solutions needed to make a big difference.

Source: UNSW report “Powering a Sporting Nation”

That’s what it means to be a true steward of the game now.

Australia’s major national sports rules could come together this year and agree to create a roadmap to make the sport 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

Collingwood AFL footballer Jordan Roughead sums up the magnitude of the odds we face.

“We have seen the impact global warming is having on sport, especially in recent years. Science says if we don’t change the way we live now, future generations will suffer.

“If we can work as a team and work towards a common goal to protect our climate and environment, our impact will be significant.”

  • Dr. Paul Sinclair is campaign director at the Australian Conservation Foundation

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