The world is quickly acknowledging that climate change is already influencing our lives and will do for future generations to come. It is becoming a more and more accepted fact that human induced climate change poses a severe risk for future generations and that immediate action to help reducing carbon dioxide emissions is crucial for the survival of our communities.
The need to change the way we traditionally generate electricity is one part of the climate change abatement option that until now communities at the local scale have had little influence over. To date most if not all wind farm or solar energy developments have been in the hands of international or large scale, utility owned developers.
Economic Sustainable Development incorporates the ability to use resources in a way, which caters for the present without compromising the ability of future generations to use resources while balancing the ecological, economic and social aspects of the project. The idea of community owned renewable energy projects provides the “sustainability” balance, whereby the community can collectively develop a project, receive a financial return from the project and contribute to ecologically sustainable electricity generation which has obvious environmental benefits. However this idea has been limited by finding the expertise required to successfully develop renewable energy projects in partnership with communities.
This has been the driver for the formation of Australian Community Energy – the vision of providing such support and expertise to develop a truly sustainable concept for direct involvement of, and partnership with, local communities and the combination of renewable energy development know-how with local ownership. This can create a true and lasting link between the people of the land and their natural, unlimited resources whether it be wind, solar or biomass.