Submission to Helen Haines MP inquiry into a Community Energy Plan for Regional Australia

by Richie Merzian and Dan Cass

Between May – July 2020 Helen Haines MP, the member for Indi, Victoria, ran a national co-design process to formulate a Community Energy Plan for Regional Australia.

The Australia Institute has made a submission that references our prior research including two publications by Dan Cass on community renewable energy and regional renewable energy development.

Our key recommendations and findings are:

  • Community ownership and control of energy can bring multiple benefits to regional Australia beyond what purely commercial projects deliver
  • The potential of community renewable energy is vast
  • Community co-ownership is the best model for enabling community investment in large scale wind and solar
  • Policy support mechanisms are vital, including Community Power Agreements to provide long-term revenue supplements
  • Regional communities must be brought along the energy transition journey and share equitably in the benefits 

We propose that community renewable energy is the best way of maximizing local benefits, and generating community support for clean energy in regional Australian.

Full report