Blowing in the wind.Without a rise in the renewable energy Renewable energy utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, and hydroelectricity to biomass and biofuels for transportation. target, much of the puff has gone out of building jobs and new industry in the town of Ararat, in regional Victoria.
MENTION RENEWABLE energy and most people think of wind turbines turning in the breeze, or solar panels soaking up the sun. Clean green electricity; it's saving our climate from the greenhouse gas greenhouse gas
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
greenhouse gas pollution that's synonymous with synonymous with
adjective equivalent to, the same as, identical to, similar to, identified with, equal to, tantamount to, interchangeable with, one and the same as coal-fired power stations.
Mention renewable energy to Ararat Rural City Council CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. Bill Braithwaite, and he quickly turns the conversation to the loss of jobs and investment opportunities for regional Australia. This follows the Howard government's recent decision to leave the renewable energy target (known as the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target), unchanged at a paltry two per cent.
Ararat, 200 kilometres west of Melbourne and home to 11,750 people, is one of a growing number of regional centres that sees its future as clean and green. In Ararat, this means building a sustainable community Sustainable communities are communities planned, built, or modified to promote sustainable living. They tend to focus on environmental sustainability (including development and agriculture) and economic sustainability. , with new industries and opportunities in the area that, in the words of Mayor Cr Paul Hooper "create a genuine option for our children to stay in the community and make a future in the renewable energy, industry".
Bill Braithwaite believes Ararat can create a sustainable future by embracing renewable energy. He wants to establish a Renewable Energy Park in Ararat a veritable Silicon Valley for the renewables industry. The Park would be a dynamic industry cluster with wind turbine, blade and tower manufacturers working alongside each other, and attracting other renewables and environment industries, as well as stimulating wind farm development across western Victoria.
The Renewable Energy Park has the potential to create 700 jobs from an initial investment of $40 million, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Bill Braithwaite. "This would be a huge boost for a regional community like Ararat, but without an increase in the renewable energy target we'll really struggle to get it off the ground" he laments.
The low target provides the renewables industry with a very small window of opportunity. New renewable energy New renewable energy is a relatively new term that is not used uniformly. Most commonly it refers to non-traditional renewable energy technologies such as solar energy, wind energy, small hydro and biomass. projects will continue to be built, but only for another three years or so. And the wider problem is this window is too small for investing in manufacturing, which creates most jobs and export opportunities.
The people of Ararat know all about wind power. Last year the largest wind farm in Australia was opened at Challicum Hills, just east of Ararat, by the Deputy Premier of Victoria, John Thwaites. Over 8,000 people visited Challicum Hills on a typically windy opening weekend, to see the 35 wind turbines that are generating enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.
The opening showed the community's strong support for the wind farm, according to Jeff Harding, Managing Director of owner Pacific Hydro. "Both the local community and Ararat Rural City Council have been firmly behind this project from the start," he said.
With this positive experience at Challicum Hills now behind it, Pacific Hydro has been looking at a $200 million wind Farm at Crowlands, north-east of Ararat and two-and-a-half times the size of Challicum Hills. Another even bigger wind farm has been investigated at Waubra, cast of Ararat, by Wind Power.
There's no shortage of enthusiasm for renewable energy in Ararat and across western Victoria, where as much as $1 billion could be invested by the wind industry. But the Government's decision to stick with a low renewables target means this enthusiasm is unlikely to create jobs and investment any time soon, if at all.
"We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a clean and green industry base to energise v. i. & t. 1. Same as energize.
Verb 1. energise - raise to a higher energy level; "excite the atoms"
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may Ararat's sustainable development", Bill Braithwaite says, "but without an increase in our renewable energy target it's very hard to see it happening"
Did you know that a child born in Australia today may be the last generation to see Kakadu National Park or the Great Barrier R The devastating effects of Change and the solutions that we can implement now are the focus of ACF's current appeal. We must act now before the window of opportunity closes. Your generous donation today to ACF's Climate Change appeal will ensure that our work in this important area continues.
Justin Sherrard is a founding Director of Cambiar, a Sydney-based strategy consultancy focusing on sustainability, and particularly on climate change