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Communities Play Vital Role in Australia's Energy Transition

The Clean Energy Council notes that there are massive renewable energy opportunities for regional and rural communities under the Australian Local Power Agency Bill.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The Australian Local Power Agency Bill requires developers to offer at least a 20 per cent stake of the project for local residents to invest in. "With most large-scale renewable energy projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and in some case – billions of dollars – it is unrealistic for all projects to offer a 20 per cent stake to the local community for co-investment, says Clean Energy Council’s Policy Director for Energy Generation, Anna Freeman. "There may be other, more targeted forms of support that are preferable to the community. Every community's needs and aspirations are different, and they may even evolve. Greater flexibility than a simple target is required within the Bill for communities to determine the benefit-sharing approach so that outcomes are positive, rewarding and beneficial for both project proponents and local communities."

The introduction of the Australian Local Power Agency and its Local Power Scheme would be a great source of additional support for regional and rural communities to assist renewable energy projects in getting off the ground, the Clean Energy Council thinks. "Community energy initiatives can be powerful drivers in affecting change at a local level, strengthening the social fabric, increasing resilience and accelerating a much broader societal shift to renewable energy," says Freeman.

The Clean Energy Council has been working alongside developers and communities across regional and rural Australia over the last decade and actively promotes community co-investment as one of the effective ways that renewable energy projects can share the benefits with their host communities. It’s on this basis that we do not support one form of benefit sharing being prescribed in legislation for all renewable energy projects.

Clean Energy Council
Windfair Editors
Clean Energy Council, Australia, community, rural, renewable energy, investment, energy transition, role, benefit, support, Australian Local Power Agency, law

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