Cricket captain targets climate change with rooftop solar program


Australian cricket superstar Pat Cummins on Thursday announced the creation of Cricket for Climate and its solar PV project Solar Clubs, an initiative designed to unlock the solar potential of up to 4,000 community cricket clubs across the nation.

Cummins, the world’s No.1 ranked fast bowler, has gone into bat for climate change, saying Cricket for Climate’s goal is for cricket clubs across Australia to achieve net-zero emissions with “urgent action” needed to reduce emissions.

“It is clear we are not doing enough to reduce carbon pollution, largely from the burning of coal, oil and gas,” he said.

“Scientists are clear we need to at least halve our carbon emissions by 2030 to have any chance of keeping warming to below 2C and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

“And while sport may not be the obvious or most important reason to tackle climate change, it gives us a window into the kind of future we could be facing.”

Cummins said Cricket for Climate’s first initiative is the installation of 10 kW solar PV systems on the roofs of 15 cricket clubs across Australia.

Chinese PV manufacturing giant LONGi, inverter supplier Sungrow and Australia’s largest solar distributor One Stop Warehouse have donated the solar panels and inverter systems for the first stage of the program.

Pat Cummins with Penrith Cricket Club president Paul Goldsmith, left, and Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg.

Image: Supplied

Cricket for Climate said there is potential to add battery energy storage systems to the solar installs at a later date.

Cummins said the first rooftop system has already been installed at the Penrith Cricket Club in Sydney, where he honed his skills as a junior.

More than a dozen clubs linked to top players, including Cummins’ teammates Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc andMarnus Labuschagne and Australian women’s Test cricket vice-captain Rachel Haynes, will follow in the next month.

Cummins said the Solar Clubs program is a win-win situation for the game and for the environment with the clubs to be transformed into energy-generating income positive assets.

“It’ll cut clubs’ power bills and greenhouse gas emissions and produce savings that can be spent on resources and player development,” he said.

“Few countries in the world can match Australia’s extraordinary potential to generate renewable energy like solar and wind power. We’ve got real ambitions; this is just the start.

“We’re looking at all the possibilities and we’re excited about what’s to come.”

A solar system has already been installed at the Penrith Cricket Club.

Image: Cricket for Climate

Penrith Cricket Club president Paul Goldsmith said the newly installed rooftop system is expected to slash the club’s annual power bill by about $3,000.

“We’re thrilled to be part of this Cricket for Climate Solar Clubs initiative,” he said.

“The annual electricity bill for our club was around $17,000 per year and it’s estimated that, as well as reducing carbon emissions, this new solar system will save us more than $3,000 every year, which can be redirected into much-needed resources and future focussed projects.”

Other clubs set to receive solar panels as part of the first include phase of the program include the Sydney, Northern District, Tamworth and, Sutherland cricket club in NSW and the Cleveland Thornlands club in Queensland.

It’s estimated the roll out of solar panels to the first 15 clubs will be completed in the next six months, with plans to then expand the initiative to include other local clubs around the country.

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