We have the solutions
One of the strong messages highlighted by Dr Mark Diesendorf (Uni of NSW) at the Monaro/ Snowy Mountains Renewable Energy Forum held in Berridale on Nov 6 08 was that we do have the necessary technologies available right now to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% within just a few decades given social and political will to make it happen. Dr Mike Kelly (Federal Member for Eden-Monaro) agreed that action on climate change was necessary and praised his electorate for its forward thinking and action on the issue so far.
This praise is well justified as illustrated by Philippa Rowland whom informed the forum that our region has procured $100,000 in Green Precinct funding for Clean Energy For Eternity to conduct a feasibility study to establish Australia’s first community owned 2MW solar farm in the Bega Valley. This farm will not only move the Bega Valley shire towards achieving a 50% reduction in GHG emissions, but also provide an investment opportunity in the SE region by prospective investors from all over Australia.
The forum also heard that wind power also has the potential to provide great ecological and economic benefits for our region due to the availability of this resource on Monaro. As an example, CEFE’s founders Dr Nott pointed out that the proposed Boco Rock windfarm would generate a total investment of $20 million as well as produce enough renewable power to account for at least half of Cooma Monaro shire’s energy needs.
But the possibilities don’t end there, as David Shapiro (Future Energy) illustrated with his presentation about the (smaller scale) Hepburn Community Wind-farm in Victoria which has now launched its prospectus and is accepting investment by shareholders, thanks to the commitment and vision of a community willing to take leadership and create local solutions.
Real solutions that reduce GHG emissions and safeguard our children’s future ecologically, socially and economically are needed to tackle climate change, and the forum demonstrated that we are well placed to do so. Look out in future CEFE columns for more detailed information on Community Renewable Energy Farms.
Report from Summit Sun in advance of above forum…
Our views will count
DENISE DION Summit Sun
Local people will have the opportunity to directly influence the Federal Government’s White Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) at a meeting in Berridale, Thursday November 6, Member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Mike Kelly has said.
Dr Kelly said that local views on climate change and the carbon pollution reduction scheme will be fed directly to Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong’s office for input into the White Paper due out at the end of the year.
Dr Kelly and Clean Energy For Eternity (CEFE) will host the Berridale meeting in an effort to garner opinion on the Government’s current Green Paper on CPRS and also to look at solutions to climate change issues.
The climate change forum will give members of the public a chance to hear first hand about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and give their views, feedback and suggestions on the scheme and strategies for tackling climate change, Dr Kelly said.
“After these meetings in Bega and Berridale I will be taking the feedback from these meetings back to Minister Wong,” Dr Kelly said.
CEFE founder, Dr Matthew Nott, said: “This is a huge opportunity for us to help shape policy through Mike Kelly. I understand that the comments will go directly to Penny Wong’s office and that she has made a special allowance to include this feedback.”
Ms Wong’s office confirmed that there were numerous levels of consultation going on and that they expected to be releasing Treasury modelling on the CRPS at the end of this month.
Dr Nott encouraged everyone to attend the Berridale meeting November 6, 5.30-7.30pm.
Sue Edmondson, CEFE, Snowy Mountains committee member said that the meeting wouldn’t be a talk fest on the problems of climate change but rather a chance to hear ideas and practical solutions from inspiring speakers.
Dr Matthew Nott, the founder of CEFE, will give an update on windfarm development on the Monaro.
Dr Mark Diesendorf from the University of NSW will talk about why action is so urgently needed and the renewable energy solutions.
David Shapero will talk about the Hepburn experience of developing a community owned windfarm in Daylesford, Victoria.
Dr Kelly has called climate change the single biggest challenge this country has faced since World War II and has said that he wants to use the forum to ensure the community has a voice and an opportunity to comment on the CPRS Green Paper.