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a novel idea for SA « Previous | |Next »
March 25, 2010

Some really big sets of investments and social changes are needed to meet the country's energy needs in the coming decades, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The changes include a transformation of our energy inefficient homes (retrofitting), cuts in how far people commute to work, as well as a vast expansion of wind and solar power. It increasingly looks as if the existing level of political will and the market-led approach to energy planning cannot deliver the fundamental restructuring needed to create the low-carbon economy and a sustainability culture.

Here's a good idea to help SA develop its renewable energy infrastructure and move beyond the fossil fuel age --community windfarms. George Monbiot in The Guardian describes one way to do this:

though the local windfarm was built by a commercial developer, the firm had done a deal with them, pledging a proportion of the profits to the community. Every year the village received between £100,000 and £150,000 and was able to finance its entire wishlist of community projects, without any of the usual struggles for lottery money or council grants. The money could be spent one year on building a youth club, the next on refurbishing the library, the year after that on rescuing the public toilets. His village had, in effect, been insulated from the budget cuts blighting so many rural communities. The villagers decided between them how the money should be spent.

Another way is for communities to own their own wind farms.They raise the capital required in loans and grants. Once the bank has been paid off, they'll have an annual income stream.

If there was partial community or full community ownership wherever a windfarm is proposed a lot more would approved and there would be less resistance. Whilst we are on clean-tech why not community owned solar farms---in Australia, just like southern California, where air conditioning guzzles electricity and peak demand coincides with peak solar radiation, why not invest in solar farms and community based solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on rooftops.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:14 AM | | Comments (1)


There is a lot of opposition to wind farms along the Fleurieu Peninsula. Those opposed really dislike them. I cannot make out if they are also opposed to environmentalism as well.