RET Road Trip #2: Morwell residents look to renewable energy future

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Residents pose for a picture with a solar hot water unit to be produced in Morwell.

This article was published by RenewEconomy.

On Wednesday April 16, Friends of the Earth brought its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip to Morwell, in the heart of Victoria’s coal and energy producing Latrobe Valley.

Morwell offered a clear point of contrast to the first stop in our road trip, the Hepburn Wind farm, but what does it have to do with the review of the Renewable Energy Target?

As the recommendations of the review will shape Australia’s energy future it is essential for the reviewers to have a real understanding of how coal power affects communities. Modeling by IES Advisory shows a weakened Renewable Energy Target will result in 6-9 per cent more coal generation, and up to 16 per cent more gas generation. For towns on the coal face this means the outdated fleet of coal generators will keep polluting.

Our visit also allowed us to understand peoples’ views towards the Renewable Energy Target and their vision for Australia’s energy future. Continue reading “RET Road Trip #2: Morwell residents look to renewable energy future”

RET Review Road Trip #1: Hepburn Wind farm

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The RET Road Trip kicks off at Hepburn Wind.

This article was published by Renew Economy.

On Tuesday April 8, Friends of the Earth launched its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip at the Hepburn Wind farm—the birthplace of community energy in Australia.

The visit to the Hepburn Wind farm is the first stop in a three-month road trip to get a real understanding of the impact energy policy, and particularly the Renewable Energy Target, has on Victorian communities. We’ve invited Dick Warburton to join us.

As readers will know, the Abbott government has initiated a review of the Renewable Energy Target. The government appointed Dick Warburton (AO LVO), former Caltex chairman who Renew Economy (among other media outlets) describes as a “climate change denier,” to chair the review.

With these credentials, it’s no wonder people fear the Warburton-led panel will recommend weakening the Renewable Energy Target.

A weakened Renewable Energy Target will set Australia back. Research by IES Advisory and RepuTex shows this outcome cost jobs, investment, and hurt Australian businesses. The Renewable Energy Target review threatens $10 billion dollars worth of investment, 3,556 construction jobs, and up to 600 full time jobs.

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Leigh Ewbank outlining the consequences of a weakened Renewable Energy Target.

Friends of the Earth has invited Dick Warburton to join our RET Road Trip so he can engage with communities and understand how they are affected by our energy choices. We’ll meet with people that have benefitted from renewable energy, but also, people who have endured pollution from fossil fuels.

We believe our fact-finding mission can help Mr Warbuton make an informed decision about the Renewable Energy Target.

While Mr Warburton has not responded to our invite, we remain hopeful he’ll join us at scheduled events over the next few months. After all, strong community engagement is essential to making a decision about a policy as important at the Renewable Energy Target.

What did we find in Hepburn where over twenty community members braved the rain to discuss the Renewable Energy Target? Continue reading “RET Review Road Trip #1: Hepburn Wind farm”

Yes 2 Renewables launch RET Road Trip!

Today, Yes 2 Renewables will launch its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip at the Hepburn Wind farm—the birthplace of community energy in Australia. The visit to the Hepburn Wind farm is the first stop of an 11-week road trip to … Continue reading Yes 2 Renewables launch RET Road Trip!