Earlier today, the Tasmanian government announced the start of the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone. RE-Alliance, an independent community-based organisation, welcomes this announcement as an opportunity to bring community interests and priorities into the energy transformation.
“This is a crucial step towards a cleaner energy future for both Tasmania and Australia,” said RE-Alliance Victoria and Tasmania Coordinator, Tony Goodfellow.
“The announcement of the location of Tasmania’s first Renewable Energy Zone means the community can now be properly brought into the process, ensuring their aspirations and concerns are reflected in the final design of the REZ.
“This opens the way for North West Tassie communities to have their say in how they want benefits from renewables developments to be used.
“Based on what we’ve seen in other parts of the country, the REZ consultation in North West Tassie will need to explore a number of issues, including preserving natural values, skills development and training, workforce accommodation and appropriate community benefit funding.
“Bringing local government and local communities into the REZ design process means they can be proactive partners in making sure the REZ addresses critical issues in North West Tassie.
Increasing renewable energy generation in Tasmania will contribute to ‘on island’ power supply as well as increase exports to the mainland.
“New renewable energy generation will be required for Tasmania’s decarbonisation vision as it “electrifies everything”. It can also play a role in decarbonising our national electricity system by providing deep, long-term storage capacity.
Mr. Goodfellow further notes, “Even as we accelerate much-needed renewables development, it’s important that environmental laws are strengthened and projects are designed to deliver benefits to the local ecology”.
“The renewables boom built through participation and leadership from all sectors can deliver benefits to regional communities, climate and the environment.
The Government has shown leadership in the creation of the Renewable Energy Coordination Framework and the creation of the Draft Guideline for Community Engagement, Benefit Sharing and Local Procurement and the initial engagement efforts through newspaper, information sessions and the website https://www.renewableenergyzones.tas.gov.au. RE-Alliance recommended a benefit guide for Tasmania, so it is welcome to see it at this stage.
Tony Goodfellow, Victoria/Tasmania Coordinator RE-Alliance 0437 792 168, [email protected]