A united approach to clean energy

12 Sep 2013


In an Australian-first, regional Australia is pushing the boundaries of what is possible for a clean energy future with the establishment of a cohesive body that looks after the interests of 16 local government areas and the nation’s capital.

SERREE – the South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence – is a sustainable energy initiative delivering improved outcomes for renewable energy stakeholders across southeast NSW and the ACT.

The ACT has an ambitious renewable energy target of 90 percent by 2020, while southeast NSW is endowed with an abundance of natural resources by way of wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy and wave power.

SEREE Project Officer Craig Hanicek – who will be a keynote speaker at All-Energy Australia in Melbourne on October 9th and 10th – says it is clear that rather than government and private enterprise competing with one another on green initiatives, banding together will bring far better results.

“The synergies are there, so really collaboration is a no brainer,” Mr Hanicek says.

“It then just becomes a question of how best to do it.”

The SERREE network comprises representatives from federal, state/territory and local governments, business and industry, education, skills training and research institutions, as well as the community sector that includes landholders and not-for-profit organisations.

The body is now on an 18-month quest to optimise development of the region’s renewable energy sector and is looking at breaking new ground in the area of sustainability.

More will be revealed in the middle of next year with the release of project findings.
Mr Hanicek says across the region people are eager for opportunities to reinvigorate their towns and he is convinced many hundreds – potentially thousands – of new jobs will be created in the clean energy space over the ensuing decade.

“Without any shadow of doubt renewable energy initiatives will both strengthen and diversify local economies.

“Next month work starts on the region’s first – and Australia’s largest – utility-scale solar project, the 20 megawatt Royalla Solar Farm, just south of Tuggeranong in the ACT. That immediately means the creation of around 100 construction jobs.

“And that is only the start, with another three solar farms and six wind projects in the pipeline,” Mr Hanicek says.
In addition, Snowy Hydro continues to be a strong regional employer, with almost 500 people engaged in operating and maintaining the extensive clean energy generators.

Mr Hanicek, who is passionate about improving the sustainability of the built environment, says he is looking forward to putting the case for cohesive clean energy initiatives to All-Energy Australia.

“The event provides an important opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, workshop new ideas and hear first-hand about inspired projects and innovative technologies.

“I am always open to initiatives that will work well and continue to develop the south east NSW-ACT region as Australia’s centre of excellence in renewable energy,” Mr Hanicek says.


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