Top energy experts to encourage more use of renewables at North East forums

Three of Australia’s top renewable energy advocates and innovators are set to tour the North East for a series of community meetings.

Their goal will be to share their expertise in “community energy” and encourage towns to create a system which will benefit residents.

Nicky Ison - who co-founded Community Power Agency in 2011 and has since worked with more than 60 community energy groups in Australia, Europe and the US - and will be one of the guest speakers.

"Community energy gives local towns and regions power over how they generate and consume electricity,” she said.

"Renewable energy is giving people and entire regions more energy options than ever before, but we need to make sure that people and communities benefit from the clean energy transition, not just the big power companies.

"North East Victoria is a hotbed for community clean energy, there's so much enthusiasm.”

Ms Ison will be joined by Victorian renewable energy advocate Simon Corbell, who previously oversaw the implementation of the ACT’s 100 per cent renewable energy target, and former Fujitsu global executive director for sustainability Alison Rowe.

A Community Energy Network was set up in the North East this year to build a system where communities can generate and share electricity themselves using a solar and battery system.

Spokesman Ben McGowan said polling showed the North East had the highest interest in Victoria for pursuing renewable energy projects.

Places like Beechworth and Tallangatta are following the lead of Yackandandah, which is aiming to be 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy by 2022.

“To have this calibre of speakers spend a week with communities across North East Victoria is a testament to our region’s interest in community and renewable energy,” Mr McGowan said.

“Speakers will outline how communities can make the most of this investment in renewable energy across the region and ensure that we all benefit from them.

“Community energy is a model that gives local towns and regions power over how they generate and consume electricity.”

The forums will be held on:

  • July 31 at Huon Hill Hotel in Wodonga from 7pm;
  • August 1 at Wangaratta GOTAFE from 7pm;
  • August 2 at Bright Community Centre from 1pm;
  • August 3 at Benalla Performing Arts Centre from 7pm;
  • August 4 at Beechworth Memorial Hall from 1pm; and
  • August 5 at Tallangatta Community Centre from 2pm.

Originally Published online here: