Expertise that enables

South Australia

South Australia leads the world in renewable energy development, with exciting battery and concentrating solar thermal projects underway and the rapid expansion of wind and solar capacity. There is one area though, where South Australia lags behind the rest of the country (and the rest of the world) – community energy.

Community energy is a tried and tested method of making sure locals benefit from renewable energy development, and in a state with as much going on in the energy space as South Australia, there are lots of opportunities for community participation and co-ownership.

If you want to see South Australia live up to its reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse, let Jay Weatherill, Steven Marshall and Nick Xenophon know you want them to support community energy; we’ve drafted a letter to South Australia’s decision makers for you use below. You can borrow ours direct or edit as you see fit. You can read our South Australian policy briefer here.

 

The Hon. Jay Weatherill MP – Premier
GPO Box 2343, Adelaide, 5001
(08) 8463 3166
cheltenham@parliament.sa.gov.au

Stephen Marshall MP – Leader of the Opposition
90-94 The Parade, Norwood, 5067
(08) 8363 9111
dunstan@parliament.sa.gov.au

Nick Xenophon – Leader of SA-Best
PO Box 3015, Unley SA 5061
(08) 8545 0400
nick.xenophon@sabest.org.au

 

Dear X,

My name is X, I live in X. I am writing to you today to urge you to support the Smart Energy Communities Program.

The South Australian Government has been a strong supporter of renewable energy in recent years. With significant investments in battery technology, concentrating solar thermal and a huge uptake of wind and solar, South Australia is a world leader when it comes to the renewable energy transition.

One area South Australia lags behind other jurisdictions in Australia and the world is community owned renewable energy (CORE). There are now over ninety CORE groups operating around the country (up from five in 2011), giving local people and communities a chance to benefit from a renewable energy future.

This growth is just the beginning. Community power has enormous potential to reduce energy bills, build strong communities, provide network stability and reduce carbon emissions. For community power to flourish, however, it needs a policy framework in place to provide the advice, funding, support and, crucially, the certainty investors and communities are calling out for. The Smart Energy Communities Program provides this framework.

Hundreds of thousands of people all over South Australia are locked out of benefiting from the reduction in energy bills solar can provide. The split-incentives that stop renters and apartment dwellers being able to benefit from solar installation mean some of the most vulnerable people in the state are being left behind. With retailers announcing price increases of almost 20% in 2017, it is more important than ever that these households have access to meaningful ways to reduce their energy bills. Initiatives supported by the Smart Energy Communities Program can provide this access.

Community power has a vitally important role to play in South Australia lowering its emissions in line with international moves to shift towards a less carbon intensive economy. Localised renewable energy projects devolve the economic benefits of renewable energy to communities and keep them there.

I would urge you to give community energy the backing it needs, and take the Smart Energy Communities Policy to the next election. With the right support, community power can play an important part in meeting the South Australian Government’s social, economic and environmental responsibilities.

For more information about the Smart Energy Communities Program and the great reasons the South Australia Government should back it, please visit cpgency.org.au/campaigns.

Yours sincerely, X

 

 

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