I read a new term in Renew Economy today: ‘TWIMBYs’- turbines wanted in my backyard! Nearly two years ago the Victorian Baillieu Government was elected on a platform based partly – where renewables were concerned – on NIMBYism. However…
Wind farm proponents are still keen and a community project in Castlemaine, in central Victoria, has been swamped with 60 applications to erect at least three turbines to serve the local area. Local landowners – TWIMBYs – are expressing interest in siting the installation.
In NSW where Premier Barry O’Farrell is also a ‘wind-worrier’, a project in New England has attracted more than 100 applications from landowners to host a community-owned wind farm.
The Community Power Agency (CPA) has been set up to support community groups in navigating the complex process of setting up a community-owned renewable energy (CRE) project.
CPA believes that democratically controlled, distributed CRE projects will bring social, environmental and economic benefits to communities across Australia.
CPA Co-Director, Jarra Hicks, has been working with the Mt Alexander Community Wind Project in Castlemaine. She says there are around 30 community projects that she is aware of – some in wind, many in solar, and others in biogas. She says:
“The key thing is that we’ve been invited to come and look at this sites..
It builds the narrative and the reality of community support and involvement in renewable projects. There is a really strong will of people on the ground to make a significant difference, and invest in renewables in a big way that is not possible at a household level.”
If the Climate Change Authority maintains the renewable energy target at the end of the year, this should be the green light for many of these projects to proceed.
Clearly horses for courses