A Push For Community Owned Renewables In Australia

More than 60 communities throughout Australia want to develop community owned wind and solar farms; but few have received funding to assist in the early stages.
Fund Community Energy is an initiative of the Coalition for Community Energy calling on the Federal government to establish a $50 million grant program to support the development stage of these projects. The investment could leverage over half a billion dollars in investment in community renewable energy.
The group has organised meetings with Liberal and Labor politicians in June and wants to ensure it can show significant community support, so has implemented a petition that aims to collect at least 5,000 signatures.
“Community-owned renewable energy projects cut carbon pollution and bring new life to regional and rural Australia. Most importantly, they pave the path for an Australia powered by renewable energy that’s owned by everyday people, not big energy companies with vested interests in fossil fuels,” states the Fund Community Energy web site.
Coalition for Community Energy refers to the 3Ds of community energy to highlight its benefits: decarbonising energy supply, decentralizing and localising energy generation and democratising energy governance.
At this point in time, only two community owned renewable energy projects are up and running in Australia; one of them being Hepburn Community Wind Park, winner of the 2012 World Wind Energy Award.
There has been some good news in recent days –  the NSW government recently announced $411,000 in grants for nine new community renewable projects; but the concern is for the dozens of other projects languishing that may fade into obscurity.
The Fund Community Energy campaign is being led by the Community Power Agency and Yes 2 Renewables with support from dozens of other groups including 100% Renewable and the Alternative Energy Association.