Infigen Energy is a specialist renewable energy business and has interests in 24 wind farms across Australia and the United States. A total installed capacity in excess of 1,600MW (on an equity interest basis), means Infigen currently generates enough renewable energy per year to power over half a million households. As a fully integrated renewable energy business in Australia, the company develops, builds, owns and operates energy generation assets and directly manages the sale of the electricity produced to a range of customers in the wholesale market. Infigen Energy trades on the Australian Securities Exchange under the code IFN.
Infigen’s first community-involved project is the current investigation of community interest and participation in its Flyers Creek wind farm project. This has led to the creation and support of the Central NSW Renewable Energy Cooperative (CENREC), which is represented at the Congress.
Infigen’s main objective for the Congress is to demonstrate its continuing support for the development of community energy projects in Australia and the importance of the Renewable Energy Target in that development. As Australia’s flagship renewable energy policy, it has been crucial for encouraging community investment in renewable energy and for lowering the cost of energy. It currently supports local businesses and communities to build local enterprises, reduce costs and build energy security. Removing the RET would seriously undermine the important role that community ownership plays in the renewable energy sector.
“There have been many previous reviews of the [Renewable Energy Target] legislation, and those reviews have essentially found that the scheme operates well. It has created the beginnings of a good industry in Australia, and it has achieved the objectives that were set out in the Act,” said Miles George, Managing Director of Infigen Energy.
Significant community ownership of renewable energy facilities is a feature of the UK, USA, Germany, Canada and Denmark and has been integral to the broad acceptance and then deployment of clean energy technologies in those nations. In these countries, community investment is supported through feed-in-tariffs, direct subsidy or legislated minimum participation.
Infigen supports the development of all these direct community support mechanisms in Australia.