Friday, September 01, 2006

Yay Renewable Energy Co-ops have finally reached Australian shores .....

was the response of my daughter, a budding environmental engineer, to the news that the Victorian Government has provided a grant of nearly $1 million for Australia's first community owned wind farm, the Hepburn Community Wind Park. From the perspective of my daughter and her colleagues 'this is really amazing, because it is one step in the direction of [achieving energy sustainability through] decentralised, autonomous local neighbourhoods... '.

"David Shapero [Managing Director of Future Energy Pty Ltd] praised the [Victorian] State Government for its initiative inestablishing the Renewable Energy Support Fund. "We're delighted with the support shown by The Minister for the Environment, Mr Thwaites and also for the work Sustainability Victoria has put in over a long period." he said. "It demonstrates that the Government is keen to back local communities. Without the keen interest from the Hepburn community, this project would not have progressed so far. The local community has shown it wants to invest in appropriate renewable energy."

Systemically, such a trajectory is likely to build social capital, enhance local resilience and avoid the long-term unintended consequences of centralised energy options such as nuclear.

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