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Roadmap to a Low Carbon Economy, our Renewable Energy Future

20/05/2019

“It’s totally possible that the Grampians can produce zero emissions by 2050,” explains Stuart Benjamin, Chair of GNET, the Grampians New Energy Taskforce. “In fact, we might be able to push it beyond zero. We’re blessed with a rich renewable energy resource here.”

GNET was established in December 2017 by RDA Grampians, with the Central Highlands Regional Partnership and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) taking a leadership role in bringing together multiple organisations from across the region (see box) to focus collectively on the region’s new energy future.

Energy was a major focus of the Regional Partnership’s June 2018 Regional Assembly in Ballarat while, in July 2018, the Victorian Government announced $500,000 for GNET to develop a roadmap to transition the region to a low-carbon economy by 2050.

Work on the Roadmap is now well underway with the team undertaking a base line exercise, to quantify current emissions by sector.

“We just don’t accurately know the quantum of emissions we produce,” explains Mr Benjamin, who is also Chair of RDA Grampians. He hopes that a roadmap can be finalised by the end of 2019.

“It will be a plan of how we can get to zero emissions that will include the policy interventions Government will need to make to achieve this goal,” explains Mr Benjamin. “But our aspirational goal is to go beyond zero, so that this region is subsidising other parts of the state.

“Wimmera Southern Mallee is energy rich in terms of solar and wind, while parts of the Central Highlands also have very strong renewable wind energy resources. We have renewables all over our backyard.”

Mr Benjamin adds that he expects the work being done in the Grampians will help inform future work across the state.

GNET comprises the Central Highlands and Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnerships, the 11 Grampians Local Government Areas, RDA Grampians, the Wimmera Development Association, the Committee for Ballarat, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Grampians Region, Regional Development Victoria (RDV), and the Clean Energy Council.


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