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Decarbonise our energy supply

Decentralise our energy supply

Democratise our energy system

Demonstrate that a clean energy future is possible.

What is community energy?

Communities involved in developing, producing, distributing, selling and buying energy assets and their output.

C4CE will only support projects under the banner of community energy which advance renewable energy, so community energy for us is really community renewable energy.

CRE projects can include communities in complete control of initiatives or combinations of public/ private/ community enterprises.

They range from small scale cooperatively owned solar PV installations to a community retailer, a bioenergy or hydro system at a facility central to a community, or a large scale community owned wind farm.

In a community-based model, the developer of a wind, solar or other renewable energy facility shares ownership of the project with local community members

A cooperative model is a jointly owned enterprise investing in wind, solar or hydro and bioenergy projects.

A community energy project combines the following elements:

  • Ownership and/or decision making power involves local individuals and stakeholders
  • Project development and design is driven by locals
  • Benefits from the project go to locals

Why do we need community energy?

The combination of sophisticated information technologies and renewable energy is fuelling growth in geographically distributed energy provision and supply, and overturning traditional centralised models based on fossil fuels and generation hubs.

Community energy is both a significant locally based source of energy, avoiding costly long range network infrastructure, and the most effective way of allowing communities to take responsibility for their own energy use.

Community energy projects engage the broader public in the development and delivery of renewable energy.   Over 75% of Australians say they support renewable energy. At present, this support is relatively passive, while those who oppose renewable energy are vocal and active.

This is where community energy projects offer significant potential.  Activating support for renewable energy around local projects that deliver substantial economic, environmental, social, technological and political benefits will in turn leverage active support for a renewable powered future.

While a community ownership approach to renewables is new to Australia, internationally those countries (Germany, Denmark and Scotland) with the most advanced uptake and ambitious targets for renewable energy have supportive communities and vibrant community renewable energy sectors. In Australia we already have two large operational projects in Hepburn Wind and Denmark Community Wind Farm, and the Coalition for Community Energy is made up of more than 100 organisations and community CRE initiatives.