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There are numerous examples of energy conservation throughout all the new Olympic venues. One of the shining examples is the natural ventilation in the Olympic Stadium — achieved by the use of oversized lift shafts, stairwells and escalator voids which draw in cool air while allowing warm air to escape. In addition, two 500-kilowatt gas co-generation engines supply a large share of the Stadium's energy requirements — these produce 40 per cent less harmful greenhouse gases than conventional mains electricity.
Air conditioning at the Aquatic Centre has been designed to cool only the air immediately surrounding the spectators, not around the pool — meaning less energy is needed for both cooling the venue and heating the pool. Similar systems are used in the SuperDome and 'Dome' exhibition hall in the Showgrounds.
The Novotel and Ibis Hotel Homebush Bay has Australia's largest solar hot water system on its roof. The 4002 square metre plant will supply 60 per cent of the Hotel's hot water requirements, reducing the total energy consumption by 15 per cent.
The use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Olympic Village make it an inspired example of world's best practice. Design elements of Village housing, in terms of orientation, shading, cross ventilation and energy efficient appliances, mean that energy demand is reduced by fifty per cent — and most of that energy is met by solar power. The Village is one of the largest solar powered communities in the world, generating one million kilowatt hours of electricity per year — the size of a small power station. Photovoltaic panels integrated into the roof of each house generate enough electricity to meet each dwelling's needs.
A number of the venues, including SOCOG Headquarters, purchase renewable energy as part of their energy supply. This electricity is generated by solar, wind, hydro or biomass and is distributed through the Sydney electricity grid.