TRY virtual power plant

Community renewable energy – good news and good stories

Community Renewable Energy is a fascinating space to watch. It’s full of stories about can-do “citizen-innovators” busy changing their bit of the world for good without waiting around for “government action”.

Here are some recent stories of renewing regional energy…

An update on Totally Renewable Yackandandah

I’ve been watching the citizen-innovators of Totally Renewable Yackandandah on their journey towards energy sovereignty for years. Late last year it was great to see their efforts recognized when they won the Premier’s Sustainability Prize for the Community Category AND the Premiers Regional Recognition Award! These awards are in recognition of their public Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project that launched in September 2019.

Here’s the Sustainability Victoria video on their Virtual Power Plant.

Community energy is growing in Australia

I visit “Yack” regularly, so I tend to notice what their innovators achieve. They’re just one of over a hundred community energy groups across Australia, all working toward creating a community-led energy transition to:

  • Decarbonise our energy supply
  • Decentralise our energy supply
  • Democratise our energy system
  • Demonstrate that a clean energy future is possible.

So if you’re looking to go renewable, also think about the regional economic good you can do through a community-based investment.

Renewable Energy for Community Facilities

Community renewables is going beyond residential property too. Corena is a non-profit volunteer-run organisation that runs a revolving fund which enables all Australians to help tackle the climate emergency by donating to projects that reduce carbon emissions immediately.

So you can make renewable energy real in your community – either by donating to their fund OR by submitting a project from your community.

How does it work?

Community organisations apply for zero-interest loans to pay for projects such as installing solar panels, improving energy efficiency, switching away from gas use, or purchasing electric vehicles. The resultant savings on energy/fuel bills cover the loan repayments into our revolving fund so they are never out of pocket, and after their loan is fully repaid their savings make it easier to provide services to the community.

So if you have “bad sun” then check out your local community venues to see whether there’s a renewables opportunity.

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