New campaign calls on politicians to support a Community Energy Fund

lunapic_136902310533291_2(1)Yes 2 Renewables are proud to join community energy groups and national renewable energy organisations to launch the Fund Community Energy campaign.

The Fund Community Energy campaign is urging the Federal Government to support the emerging community-owned energy sector with a $50 million grant fund. The campaign is now collecting signatures on a petition it will take to Parliament House in June.

The campaign believes politicians risk killing off the infant energy sector if they fail to establish a multi-million dollar  Community Energy Fund.

“While community energy is growing quickly, the new sector they will need support if they are going to succeed,” said Nicky Ison of the Community Power Agency.

“Over 35 communities across Australia are developing community owned wind and solar projects, but only two are up and running. If the other 33 groups don’t receive start-up assistance soon, they risk dying on the vine,” added Nicky Ison. Continue reading “New campaign calls on politicians to support a Community Energy Fund”

Community solar may be next big thing in Australian renewables

Published by Renew Economy. View the original article here.

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The momentum for a big push into community solar projects appears to be gathering pace, with several different organisations planning public launches in the next month, and suggestions that several dozen projects could be built on NSW rooftops in coming years. Continue reading “Community solar may be next big thing in Australian renewables”

Support for renewables sizzles with Summer Solar BBQ!

solarbbqlowresVictoria is gearing up for a warm and sunny weekend, and you know what that means… Perfect conditions for all those rooftop solar panels pumping clean renewable energy into the grid. It’ll also be ideal conditions for cooking up a storm on the BBQ.

Our friends, 100% Renewable, have decided to merge the two. This weekend heralds Australia’s first Summer Solar BBQ.

100% Renewable’s community coordinator, Andy Bray, took a minute to tell Yes 2 Renewables about their latest initiative. Continue reading “Support for renewables sizzles with Summer Solar BBQ!”

Campaign Diary 2012: Southwest Victoria Trip, Day 1

In September, the Yes 2 Renewables campaign joined forces with Beyond Zero Emissions to tour southwest Victoria.

Situated on the coast, the area surrounding Warrnambool, Port Fairy, and Portland bares the full brunt of burly sea winds to hit the continent from the southern ocean. It’s no surprise that dozens of vessels shipwrecked on the southwest coast—due in no small part to the wind. Even when travelling in the modern-day convenience of a car, one could feel wind gusts push the car around the tarmac—the strength of the wind seemingly intensifying with each kilometre travelled.

With its vast wind resource, southwest Victoria is among Australia’s most important renewable energy regions. While this honour comes with several operational wind farms and manufacturing base, as we found out, it also means the area has been among the first to feel the impacts of changed wind farm planning laws implemented by the Baillieu government just over a year ago. The Portland-based engineering firm, Keppel Prince, has seen demand for its services drop off with the collapse of the project pipeline for wind farms.

The purpose of our trip was simple: Yes 2 Renewables wanted to gain a local perspective on wind farms, and update the community up about the Baillieu government’s renewable energy policies—particularly the impact anti-wind energy planning guidelines.

Continue reading “Campaign Diary 2012: Southwest Victoria Trip, Day 1”

New Matilda: Solar Is The Brightest Energy Option

Published by New Matilda. Read the original article

By Ben Eltham

Solar power may soon be the cheapest way to power your home – and the rapid growth of the industry is making other energy providers nervous. Ben Eltham on the solar revolution.

Few ordinary punters know who she is, but in renewable energy circles, she’s a rock star. Executive Secretary of global renewable energy policy network, REN21, Christine Lins is based at the UN Environment Program in Paris. REN21’s well-known Global Status Report is one of the most frequently cited reports establishing baseline data of the growth of the renewable energy internationally. Word has spread to Australia: Lins’ talk in Melbourne last week packed out a large lecture at the University of Melbourne.

You can watch her full speech at the Grattan Institute website, so I won’t recapitulate it here. But one thing stood out from her presentation: the astonishing global growth in solar energy.

Some of the statistics from the Global Status Report underline the solar explosion. An amazing 47 per cent of all new electricity generation in the entire EU came from photovoltaics in 2011. Almost 30 gigawatts of solar energy was added to global energy supply last year, a 74 per cent increase. Between 2006 and 2011, the operating capacity of solar electricity globally increased by an average of 58 per cent a year. Continue reading “New Matilda: Solar Is The Brightest Energy Option”

Barack Obama’s renewable energy lesson for Australia.

Dan Cass, a director of the World Wind Energy Award-winning Hepburn Wind farm, thinks Australia can learn from President Obama’s renewable energy initiatives. In the  following blog,  Consultant Dan looks at how policy makers are using smart grid technology  and renewable energy ‘cooperatives’ to modernise the Unites States’ electricity system:

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac has announced a significant milestone for America, with the investment of a quarter of a billion dollars in smart grid technology in rural areas.

Secretary Vilsac gave a detailed announcement of the locations and programs that have been supported through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA):

The $269 million in loan guarantees announced today are provided by USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The funding helps electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America’s electric infrastructure. USDA Rural Development also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

Smart grids are the future of energy, because they use the internet to connect up millions of consumers and producers of energy, maximising efficiency and reliability.

This is a huge leap forwards from the nineteenth century baseload, coal-fired generation model that is holding us back in Australia. Continue reading “Barack Obama’s renewable energy lesson for Australia.”