Community-owned renewable energy projects to receive boost

Wind turbines in a rapeseed field

An increased political emphasis on climate change will drive more community-owned clean energy projects in Victoria, renewable energy advocates say.

There are more than 70 community groups across Australia currently involved in the development of self-sustaining renewable projects, such as the Hepburn wind farm, west of Melbourne.

Hepburn Wind is the owner and operator of Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, providing clean energy for more than 2,000 homes.

The Community Power Network’s Nicky Ison said renewed support for renewable projects ahead of the upcoming federal election would help bolster similar projects across the state.

“We have amazing renewable energy sources, and most of those resources are located in regional Australia, particularly in south-west Victoria” she said.

“These projects, they provide greater levels of local employment and greater levels of investment opportunity, which means more money from the renewable energy boom stays circulating in regional economies.”

Ms Ison said a direct investment in Community Power Network’s, as outlined in the federal Opposition’s wider Climate and Energy policy package announcement, could help prospective community-run projects navigate legal and technical challenges.

“It will help them negotiate a good power purchase agreement, and allow them to have some of that upfront funding to get through the riskier stages,” she said. To read more click here.

The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016.

The conference explores opportunities for innovation in regional Australia. With its rich resources, diversity, and value, regional Australia is the catalyst for the future.

Addressing issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation it is an opportunity not to be missed.

To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

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