Home » Energy » People power: everyday Australians are building their own renewables projects, and you can too

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

People power: everyday Australians are building their own renewables projects, and you can too

People power: everyday Australians are building their own renewables projects, and you can too

In the town of Goulburn in southern New South Wales, an energy revolution is brewing. The community has come together to build its own 4,000-panel solar farm – everyday citizens are invited to buy shares in the venture and reap the rewards.

Goulburn is not alone: community-owned energy is an idea whose time has come. About 100 community energy groups operate across Australia – their projects at various levels of development – up from 25 groups in 2015.

The concept is gaining political attention, too. Independent MP for the federal Victorian seat of Indi, Helen Haines, in August moved a motion in parliament, calling on the Morrison government to support community energy, including establishing a new government agency. The bill is backed by fellow independent Zali Steggall.

At its core, community energy rests on the belief that everyday people should have power over how their energy is generated – including its environmental and social impacts. Big corporations should not control our energy systems, nor should they reap all the profits. So let’s take a look at how community energy works.

A solar farmProjects such as the ACT’s Mount Majura solar farm allow citizens to take control of their energy needs.
Steve Bittinger/Flickr under CC licence 2.0

What is community energy?

Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy project, Hepburn Wind, started generating power in June 2011. Since then, many more communities across Australia have banded together to manage their own solar, wind, micro-grid and efficiency projects.

The Goulburn project will be built in the Hume electorate of federal energy minister Angus Taylor, about 3km from the town centre. Earlier this year it received a A$2.1 million state grant, under the Regional Community Energy Fund.

Investors can reportedly buy A$400 shares, each covering the cost of a solar panel and the infrastructure needed for grid connection.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase