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Community, Energy

Local Energy Hubs can help people and communities through change

RE-Alliance and Community Power Agency 2 mins read

3 April 2024

RE-Alliance and the Community Power Agency, two organisations working for more than a decade with regional communities navigating large-scale renewable energy projects, have welcomed the detail provided by the Chair of the Net Zero Economy Agency, Greg Combet, on the remit of the Net Zero Economy Authority in this week’s National Press Club address.

Mr Combet prefaced his address by sharing that he was tasked by the federal government to “develop a plan that will help people and communities through change” and clearly articulated that large-scale renewable energy generation is “fundamentally important” to transform the economy away from fossil fuels to clean energy.  

Andrew Bray, National Director of RE-Alliance, said regional communities could greatly benefit from the rollout of renewable energy infrastructure – provided governments and industry committed to sustained and significant investment in community engagement.

“Greg Combet has outlined that people and communities need to be at the heart of Australia’s shift to an economy powered by clean sources like wind and solar. Working with regional communities for more than a decade, we’ve been talking to the federal government about the need to communicate more actively about our shift to renewable energy - so we are pleased to see that the Authority will have a focus on doing exactly this,” Andrew Bray said.

Jarra Hicks, Director of the Community Power Agency, said the government should invest in Local Energy Hubs across Australia. “We need to help communities feel a part of this change. Local Energy Hubs have the power to take people from being confused bystanders to active participants getting direct benefits,” Dr Hicks said.

“Imagine if you could speak directly with someone you know and trust, who could help you to understand new energy infrastructure and what it means for your community – from electrifying your home appliances, to setting up a community energy project, to working with large projects to make sure there are good local jobs and benefits,” Dr Hicks said.

More information on Local Energy Hubs can be found here.

Andrew Bray is the National Director of RE-Alliance.

Jarra Hicks is the Director of the Community Power Agency.

 

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About us:

About RE-Alliance: RE-Alliance is working to secure an energy transformation that delivers long-term benefits and prosperity for regional and rural Australia. They do this by listening to the needs of communities, facilitating collaboration across the renewables industry to deliver social outcomes and advocating for meaningful engagement and benefits for regions.

 

About Community Power Agency: Community Power Agency is an industry leader in understanding the social aspects of renewable energy development, and particularly the impact of different practices of community engagement, benefit sharing and local procurement on social outcomes and social licence. They advocate for a shift to renewable energy that is fast and fair, and which places communities at the centre.

 

 


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