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Building Stronger Communities – Community benefit funds report

The third edition of our Building Stronger Communities report investigates how renewable energy is contributing to regional Australia through community benefit funds.

We aim for this report to help build a fairer energy transition, by setting a benchmark of better community benefit practices for industry and by providing examples for host communities.

The renewable energy landscape in Australia is evolving rapidly, and development is taking place in regional and rural Australia where the landscape and communities are largely agricultural. Benefit sharing arrangements have been created as a mechanism to enable communities to share in the energy transition. 

Building Stronger Communities – How community benefit funds from renewable energy projects support local outcomes investigates the most common type of benefit sharing arrangement: community benefit funds. These are funds made in the form of voluntary payments by renewable energy companies to communities. Done well and combined with excellent community engagement, community benefit funds establish the renewable energy development as a contributor to the community, supporting local needs and aspirations.

The report:

  • Examines the practice of the development, governance and management of community benefit funds
  • Presents a catalogue of community benefit funds across Australia in wind and solar developments
  • Summarises best practice principles for how these funds can best serve their communities in the long term
  • Draws on interviews with community leaders, development experts and industry proponents
  • Examines a range of case studies from proponents in different contexts.

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