Energy Futures Forum a success in Seymour

Published by BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group. View the original article.

The Energy Futures Forum organised by BEAM and Yes 2 Renewables was held in Seymour on the 16th of November. It has helped broadened the debate about energy issues in the Mitchell Shire region with over 50 turning up for an informative day.

The Energy Futures Forum held the the VRI Hall in Seymour attracted over 50 people.
The Energy Futures Forum held the the VRI Hall in Seymour attracted over 50 people.

Energy has become a hot topic for the community with a wind farm proposed for the region. The 15-turbine Cherry Tree Range wind farm is currently before VCAT with a decision expected at any moment. The proposal for a wind farm on Cherry Tree Range is a local manifestation of the energy choices we’re now facing. Will we remain hitched to fossil fuels, pollution and climate change, or will we shift to renewable energy with the benefits of jobs and drought-proof income for regional Victoria?

The audience was highly engaged in the subject matter and expressed positive feedback about the quality of the presenters. The positive tone and evidence-based presentations of the Energy Futures Event was a contrast to the emotive, fear-laden anti-wind farm meeting in Trawool last year. Continue reading “Energy Futures Forum a success in Seymour”

Ararat Councillor says wind farms are all good!

cr-g-allgoodToo many politicians at the local, state and federal level have abandoned the evidence and adopted an anti-wind farm stance.

There are those who have opposed wind energy fearing a backlash from constituents, and others have done so out of political opportunism. There are those with an ideological objection to renewable energy, and some, no doubt, have close ties with the fossil fuel sector and see wind energy as a threat to business as usual.

Then there are politicians like councillor Gwenda Allgood, who is a strong supporter of wind energy. Cr Allgood has fronted audiences in Seymour and King Island to tell the positive story of Ararat–a community in west Victoria that is immensely proud of its wind farm.

In an interview with ABC Radio last week, Ararat Regional City councillor Gwenda Allgood detailed her community’s experience with wind energy. Continue reading “Ararat Councillor says wind farms are all good!”

Cut emissions and save on household bills

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest in the region which is the site of the proposed Cherry Tree Range wind farm.

Victoria stands at a crossroads. Will our energy future be defined by more business-as-usual: fossil fuels, pollution, the threat of fracking and climate change? Or will we transition to clean renewable energy sources?

Energy efficiency can make the transition to renewables quicker and easier while saving householders on their power bills. Trent Hawkins, lead author of Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Buildings Plan, will outline four ways Victorians can get energy smart, save money and reduce carbon emissions. Original article published by BEAM. 

Trent-Hawkins
Trent Hawkins, project leader of the Beyond Zero Emissions Zero Carbon Buildings Plan.

Households in Seymour and surrounds can reduce their carbon emissions to zero with four simple steps.

Trent Hawkins, Project Director of the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan, will talk about how this can be done at the Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16.

The four steps are going gas free, fixing the building envelopes, installing energy efficient appliances and lighting, and rooftop solar to power every home.

“Every house in Australia could be emissions free in ten years if we implemented this plan”, said Mr Hawkins.

With this approach, households would produce more electricity than they use, but using less on a daily basis than they do now.

After three years of working on the Plan at environmental think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, he proposes that it is not only possible but that it is realistic and financially viable. Continue reading “Cut emissions and save on household bills”

What is the risk for Mitchell Shire residents of coal seam gas exploration?

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest in the region which is the site of the proposed Cherry Tree Range wind farm.

Victoria stands at a crossroads. Will our energy future be defined by more business-as-usual: fossil fuels, pollution, the threat of fracking and climate change? Or will we transition to clean renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar, community-owned renewable projects and wind farms?

We could think of no one better to explore the implications of unconventional gas extraction than Chloe Aldenhoven, Victorian coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance. Original article published by BEAM. 

97% of people surveyed in the Liverpool Plains want their district to be gasfield free. Source: Lock the Gate, photo by Jeremy Buckingham MLC

Chloe Aldenhoven, Victorian coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance, will talk about the growing community opposition to this type of mining at the Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16.

“Coal seam gas is a dirty and unsustainable fossil fuel that contributes to climate change,” said Ms Aldenhoven. Coal seam gas has been touted as an option for increased gas production all around Australia as existing gas reserves are limited, or tied up as lucrative exports.

More than 54 percent of Australia is covered by coal and gas licences or applications. The controversial process of “fracking” is used to explore for, and extract, the underground gas. Continue reading “What is the risk for Mitchell Shire residents of coal seam gas exploration?”

Appointments show Waubra Foundation can’t be trusted

Published at Climate Spectator. View the original article.

Retired Lliberal Member for Hume, Alby Schultz

Well known anti-wind farm campaign group, the Waubra Foundation, has announced several more wind energy opponents to official positions. The move shows the Waubra Foundation is not an impartial authority on matters of human health.

It also illustrates that their views on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for Trawool, currently before VCAT, fail the independence test and can’t be trusted.

Retired Liberal MP Alby Schultz was announced as ‘Patron to the Foundation’. Schultz has a track record of bagging the wind energy sector in the Parliament and attended an anti-wind rally at Parliament House in June.

New director Charlie Arnott opposes the Rugby wind farm and another in Alexandra Nicol was staffer to Liberal WA senator Chris Back who also appeared at the anti-wind rally in Canberra.

Appointing people with a background of involvement with anti-wind farm campaigns comes as no surprise and further undermines the Foundation’s claim to be independent and trustworthy on wind energy and health. Continue reading “Appointments show Waubra Foundation can’t be trusted”

Ararat’s wind farm lessons for Mitchell Shire

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest in the region which is the site of the proposed Cherry Tree Range wind farm.

What is it like living near a wind farm? Do wind farms strengthen local economies and build resilient communities? These questions are on the minds of community members as they consider the region’s first wind farm.

We could think of no one better to explore these issues than long-serving councillor Gwenda Allgood. Here’s a taste of what Gwenda will cover at the Energy Futures Forum. Original article published by BEAM.  Continue reading “Ararat’s wind farm lessons for Mitchell Shire”

Solar future for Seymour?

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.

market-roof-plan

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. Continue reading “Solar future for Seymour?”

BEAM/Y2R present Energy Futures Forum in Seymour

Energy-Futures-Forum-624x517Victoria stands at a crossroads. Will our energy future be defined by more business-as-usual: fossil fuels, pollution, the threat of fracking and climate change? Or will we transition to clean renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar, community-owned renewable projects and wind farms?

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables present the Energy Futures Forum to explore these very questions. The event provides a way for the Mitchell Shire community to engage in the issues surrounding energy generation in Victoria. Continue reading “BEAM/Y2R present Energy Futures Forum in Seymour”

Dodgy ‘science’ exposed as anti-wind farm activists threaten jobs and investment in Central Victoria

Professor Simon Chapman
Professor Simon Chapman

As the VCAT hearing on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm enters its final stage this week, one of Australia’s leading public health experts has exposed shoddy submissions made by anti-wind farm activists.

Simon Chapman, Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, has critically reviewed the submissions made by known anti-wind farm activists Sarah Laurie (‘Waubra’ Foundation) and Patina Schneider (Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Mudgee Alliance).

“These submissions are quite lamentable. If they were handed in as assignments by undergraduates, I’m afraid there would be many tears,” said Professor Chapman. “Neither Sarah Laurie nor Patina Schneider has any training or experience in research, and are open opponents of wind farms. These problems and biases are obvious throughout their submissions.”

Professor Chapman says the anti-wind farm campaigners continue to ignore reviews published by credible health organisations such as the Victorian Department of Health.

Continue reading “Dodgy ‘science’ exposed as anti-wind farm activists threaten jobs and investment in Central Victoria”

Wind farms: What we can’t hear, can’t harm

Published by Renew Economy. View original article.

wind-farm-sunset

In a new analysis, the Australian Energy Market Operator estimates Victoria will have 4,090 MW of new wind energy capacity installed by 2020. Those who support more renewables in the energy mix will welcome the forecast, yet it may be optimistic.

Today (Friday September 27), the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) will resume the decision making process on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for central Victoria. Despite meeting the world’s strictest wind farm planning laws and laying outside the multitude of no-go zones imposed by the Baillieu government, the project could be thwarted. By what? The self interest and pseudo-science trumpeted by anti-wind farm groups.

The fate of the Cherry Tree Range wind farm is a test case for wind energy in Victoria. If it’s approved then there’s hope Victoria will achieve the high-penetration of wind energy AEMO predict by the end of the decade.

VCAT adjourned with an interim determination in April, finding the permit application was in accordance with all the planning considerations that the Mitchell Shire had contested. However the Tribunal decided it would await the outcome of an EPA SA study into alleged noise complaints at Waterloo wind farm, and also a new review by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

VCAT left us to ponder the question: whether there is a causal link between sound pressure emissions from wind turbines and adverse health effects of a physiological nature. Continue reading “Wind farms: What we can’t hear, can’t harm”