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Harnessing Renewable Energy: A Regional Approach

Harnessing Renewable Energy: A Regional Approach

Bipartisan Support for Regional Renewable Solutions

Australia is at a critical moment in its transition to renewable energy, and regional communities play an important role. RE-Alliance and Community Power Agency, two prominent actors in this movement, emphasise the significance of bipartisan support for real solutions that benefit these communities.

According to RE-Alliance National Director Andrew Bray, 40% of Australia’s electricity already comes from renewable sources, projected to reach 50% by the end of 2025. This shift presents a unique opportunity for regional Australia to prosper.

Empowering Regional Communities

For more than a decade, RE-Alliance and Community Power Agency have worked with regional communities to create practical solutions. These organisations promote the construction of Local Energy Hubs in Renewable Energy Zones in Australia.

These hubs, manned by local specialists, would give critical information on renewable energy projects and household electrification, keeping communities informed and supported.

Enhancing the Capacity Investment Scheme

The Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) is central to encouraging investment in renewables. Strengthening CIS tender guidelines can set high standards for community and environmental outcomes, ensuring that renewable projects deliver tangible benefits.

This includes incorporating First Nations equity in renewable energy projects, a model successfully implemented in Canada and South Africa.

The latest CIS guidelines, released in May, prioritise good community engagement but still need to better harness local knowledge to protect habitats and species.

Combating Misinformation with Trusted Sources

Misinformation and disinformation pose significant challenges in the renewable energy transition. A trusted entity like the CSIRO could lead a dedicated national centre to research renewables, produce clear, accessible information, and engage in community outreach.

This initiative would ensure that accurate information is readily available, countering the spread of falsehoods.