Just days after the Victorian Liberal party’s Shadow Minister Against Renewables David Southwick made a misguided pledge to axe the VRET, Victorian communities are celebrating the real leaders in renewable energy at Hepburn Wind’s community wind farm.
The Daylesford event will be hosted at the world renowned Hepburn wind farm this Sunday the 26th and tickets are available right now.
International and local energy experts will join on a discussion panel to discuss the important role of communities in driving zero-net energy transitions.
The Keynote speaker for the day is Danish community energy pinoeer Søren Hermansen, who spearheaded his homeland of Samsø Island to become 100% energy independent in only 10 years. Søren Hermansen will give real insight into how this island community achieved such an incredible outcome.
“Getting our island to 100% energy independence took planning and ambition. Our community started with a zero-net energy target and then won a competition to have a blueprint made that would create a clear path to success” stated Søren.
To share these lessons and experiences, Søren founded the Samsø Energy Institute which is helping communities around the world to participate in the energy transition. They have recently secured funding for a two-year project with Hepburn Wind as their Australian partner organisation.
“Samsø Island has demonstrated the potentials of community ambition. Because of the Hepburn Shire’s natural resources and active community we are in the perfect position to do the same” said Taryn Lane, Community Manager of Hepburn Wind.
Celebrating Pioneering Communities will also bring together Australia’s leading energy voices, Kate Auty, Ed McManus and Simon Holmes à Court. Kate is the ACT Government’s Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment and has worked with Strathbogie Voices to deliver sustainable energy solutions, while Ed is the CEO of Australia’s cleanest energy retailer, Powershop and Simon served as the founding chair of Hepburn Wind. Together, these panellists will take an in-depth look at what lies next for Australia’s transitioning energy system.
“The Victorian Renewable Energy Target demonstrates that communities like our own have backed the right horse. Our Shire has the natural resources and community capacity to hit 100% renewables in only 8 years and now we have the international support to make this potential a reality” said Taryn Lane.
“It is promising to see community energy ambition being reflected in the policies of our State and Local government, strong targets are central to furthering renewable energy projects and maximising the benefits they create”
Hepburn Wind, Australia’s first community owned wind farm is a reminder that even though the Turnbull government is making misguided attacks on renewables, many people in the community want to build them right here in Victoria.
The event will also kick off a series of Climate Conversations that will be occurring through the year and hosted by the Hepburn Shire Council which is working towards zero-net emissions for shire infrastructure.
For Melbourne folk who are keen to attend subsidised bus tickets are available that leave from Southern Cross Station in the reserved bus bay between 65 & 70. Tickets for the bus, any food and a general entry ticket need to be booked in advance here.
With local food to enjoy and talented musicians on the day, Celebrating Pioneering Communities will be a rewarding afternoon for anyone interested in community energy.
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