Greens promote clean and sustainable industry for regional Australia

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Australian Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale visited Byron Bay today to promote investment in clean and sustainable industry for regional Australia.

Senator Di Natale, alongside Australian Greens Candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker, met with local business Enova Energy, Australia’s first community owned renewable energy retailing and installation business.

“It’s absolutely critical that we invest in new and sustainable energy sources, as the old coal industry dies out,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The biggest winners from a renewables revolution is regional Australian communities.

“Our plan RenewAustralia is not only about powering Australia’s clean economy, it is about renewing jobs and infrastructure in regional Australia.

“Coal Seam Gas has no long-term future in regional Australia. The jobs and investment of the future are in clean energy projects.

Malcolm Turnbull plans to cut funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) which helps to make clean energy solutions more affordable for Australians and improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies

“It’s no wonder Malcolm Turnbull wants to gut ARENA, so that he can protect the old polluting industries against credible competition from the renewables market.

“Around 70% of ARENA’s investments are in regional Australia, including Australia’s biggest Solar farm. What a disgrace it would be if Malcolm Turnbull denies regional Australia this great opportunity for growth and investment.

“It is a really exciting time for regional communities, but the opportunities are slipping through our fingers, unless we act now and make renewables a priority for Australia,” said Senator Di Natale.

Australian Greens Candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker Dawn Walker said the region has already embraced clean energy technologies.

“We have one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar in Australia. The Greens want every household to have affordable solar which will save on power bills and protect our climate.

"The high uptake of rooftop solar in this region shows that this community has embraced renewable energy. This community expects action from our government to deliver a job rich, clean energy future.

"We have more than enough technology to power our region with clean energy. The Greens are determined to deliver a job rich, clean energy future that protects our climate and brings prosperity to our region," said Ms Walker.

CEO of Enova Energy, Steve Harris said customers who buy their energy through Enova will be able to choose where their energy comes from, supporting their own favourite renewable energy project.

“In addition to backing local renewable generation Enova will return profits back into the local community and becoming a significant local employer with our own call centre and operations located here in the Northern Rivers. 

“We have also had a lot of interest from other communities around Australia wanting us to help them do something similar in their community, so hopefully this will be the start of communities around Australia taking the power back into their hands and determining where their energy comes from and owning their own generation,” Mr Harris said.

Facts

•             ARENA has 22 projects shortlisted for large scale solar and they are all in regional areas.

•             Around 70% of ARENA’s investments are in regional Australia and $1.9 billion of investment has been created in regional communities.

•             They have around another $2 billion of investment to create, overwhelmingly in regional Australia. This is all under threat under Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to gut ARENA.

•             The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has created $3.8 billion in investment in regional and rural Australia. 70% of their investments are in regional Australia.