On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present a Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest. The following article appeared in The Seymour Telegraph. BEAM President Richard Telford points to the potential community-owned solar in the Mitchell Shire region. View original article.
Imagine 1000 solar panels on a large rooftop in Mitchell Shire, community owned and run.
BEAM Mitchell Environment Group will be hosting an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16 where a grand idea like this will be featured.
One of the key speakers will be David Robinson, from the group LIVE — Locals Into Victoria’s Environment.
Mr Robinson is spearheading a push to install up to 1000 solar panels on the roof of the South Melbourne Market, adding to about 150 already in place there.
The sharp decline in the cost in panels, as much as 80 per cent cheaper in recent years, has made community-owned solar economically viable.
Already one million Australian households now have solar panels, and in Mitchell Shire at least 1500 households — almost 10 per cent — have panels on their roofs.
Many who are renters, or live in public housing, could not install them on their own roof. So large rooftop systems offer more people the chance to participate in the shift to renewable energy.
‘‘It would be a community place to put your solar,’’ Mr Robinson said.
There are many models, but the predominant one sees locals investing small amounts — often around $1000 — in installing large solar arrays on community or commercial properties.
The power generated is then sold to the owners of the building, or to power distribution companies, with any profits shared among investors. Part of the profits could also be used to support other community groups.
Ten similar community-owned solar power projects are currently being proposed in Victoria and NSW.
The Energy Futures Forum will have a range of speakers talking about future options including solar and wind power, how to reduce energy use and household bills, and the risks faced if the move to a renewable energy future is not made.
We need to transition from our dependence on limited fossil fuel reserves, to harnessing clean renewable energy. It’s a great way to lower our impact on the environment, and reduce the severity of climate change.
The Energy Futures Forum will be held at the VRI Hall in Seymour, from 2pm to 5pm on November 16, with gold coin entry. It is supported by Yes2Renewables.