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Renewables for All – Resources

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The Renewables for All advocacy project is striving to help create the policy settings and regulatory and market context that allows all Australians, no matter their income or living arrangements, to be able to directly benefit from clean energy solutions such as solar PV, storage and energy efficiency.

Specifically, through this project we are calling on governments to develop programs and support innovation in new social enterprise business models that increase access to clean energy for low-income households, renters, apartment dwellers and homeowners without solar access.

Policy Briefing Papers

See below six policy briefing papers that set out what governments can do to support renewables for all.

Renewables for All – A Priority Energy Policy Agenda for Australia 

This briefing paper outlines the context of our changing energy system, the ‘social equality challenge’, and how a range of innovative new policy mechanisms and business models can address issues of clean energy affordability and accessibility and ensure all Australians benefit from a renewable energy future. Please download it here.

Solar Gardens

In Australia many energy customers through no fault of their own are unable to put solar on their own roof, this may be because they rent, live in apartments, have shaded roofs etc.  One of the most exciting ways to address this equality issue is through the establishment of central solar facilities known as Solar Gardens, where households and businesses own shares or a number of panels and the energy generated is credited on those customers’ energy bills. Please download it here.

Rates-based financing and Rent-based financing

These two briefing papers outline the role that council rates-based and rent-based financing can play in increasing clean energy accessibility and affordability in Australia and what state and local governments need to do to enable them.

One of the key barriers to uptake of new energy technologies by low-income customers is the high up-front cost. To overcome this issue a range of organisations are developing finance products and mechanisms that enable the customer to pay back the cost of clean energy over a period of time.  One of these finance mechanisms is rates-based financing, whereby a council enables finance for clean energy measures on a property and then levies a special rate on said property to payback the cost of finance over time. Please download the rates-based financing paper here.

Just as rates-based financing eases the burden of up-front cost for new clean energy technologies, rent-based financing provides an additional mechanism for both housing providers and their tenants to address the ‘social equality challenge’ and increase access to the benefits of clean energy technology. This policy mechanism is designed specifically for the most disadvantaged energy users; namely those in community or social housing. Please download the rent-based financing paper here.

Community owned renewable energy 

This briefing paper outlines the wide-ranging benefits that Community owned renewable energy (CORE) projects typically deliver and the exciting role they could play in the Australian energy system, particularly with respect to increasing clean energy accessibility and affordability. Please download it here.

Mini Grids and embedded networks

Mini-grids (also known as ‘micro-grids’) are one way to meet the electricity demand locally. As a combination of energy generation and distribution that typically operate as isolated systems in a range of 10 kW to 10 MW, they can serve tens to several hundred customers. Although mini-grids mostly exist in remote areas, there is also a growing interest in grid-connected or embedded mini-grids because it allows for greater control of the electricity generation e.g. from renewables and reduce network costs.

This paper defines and gives an overview of the different approaches to mini-grids. It lines out some of the benefits for its adoption in Australia and specifies what policy changes and measures are to be taken to support this innovative approach to community energy. Please download it here.

Discussion Papers

Downloadable Discussion Papers for NSW (NSW Discussion Paper), Victoria (Victorian Discussion Paper), Queensland (Queensland Discussion Paper), South Australia (South Australian Discussion Paper) and ACT (ACT Discussion Paper), inform policy and National Energy Market advocacy work to help state governments proactively support and better facilitate the uptake of new business models that enable energy consumers greater access to the benefits of new technologies.

If you want to learn more about the project click here.

 

This project was funded by Energy Consumers Australia Limited as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Energy Consumers Australia.

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