Hume Region Renewable Energy Roadmap Launched01/08/2019
The Ovens Murray and Goulburn Regional Partnerships today jointly launched the Hume Region Renewable Energy Roadmap, outlining what a future sustainable renewable energy landscape could look like for the region and identifying some of the area’s key renewable opportunities.
At Regional Assemblies over the past few years, both Partnerships heard from their communities that renewable energy and climate change were important issues for the future. The Ovens Murray Regional Partnership has identified positive action on climate change and building a renewable energy future among its six long-term priorities for the region and the Goulburn Regional Partnership has identified the importance of renewable energy in supporting its agriculture sector.
The Victorian Government listened and, in Budget 2018/19, delivered $300,000 to develop a renewable energy strategy for the Hume Region.
The Roadmap, developed for the Partnerships by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Hume Region, following consultation with over 1,000 members of the community, is the result.
Among the key opportunities identified in the roadmap for renewables in the Hume Region are:
- Willing engaged communities – Hume has the highest number of community energy groups within a single region in Australia. From Totally Renewable Yackandandah in Ovens Murray to Mitchell Community Energy in Goulburn, there are currently 13 community energy and environmental sustainability groups working on energy projects and more groups are forming.
- Distributed energy resources – Distributed energy resources are those created or stored locally and connected to the local distribution grid, and commercial businesses are already working with community energy groups in the region on distributed energy resources.
- Pumped hydro energy storage – The Hume Region has pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) opportunities to meet local, Victorian and Australian needs. Leveraging PHES opportunities will require careful consideration of water availability.
- Large scale solar energy - There is already very considerable interest by industry in establishing large scale solar farms in the region. One such farm has already been commissioned at Numurkah.
- Bioenergy –Biomass resources suitable for bioenergy are abundant in the region, with softwood plantation feedstocks in the North East and agricultural feedstocks in the Goulburn Valley. There are already three biogas generators operating in Hume.
Launching the Roadmap in Wangaratta, Rosie Koop, an Ovens Murray Regional Partnership and project steering committee member, said, “Hume is already seeing the uptake of renewable energy, both on our roof tops and at large scale. As we move forward with more renewable energy developments in our region, we want to make sure we capitalise on local economic, social and environmental benefits. It’s essential that we consider carefully how renewables can complement our existing regional industries, with minimal impact on our valuable farmland and the natural beauty of the region.
“This Roadmap outlines the way to a renewable energy future for Hume and builds on the tremendous amount of work and the initiatives already underway.”
As for what’s next, she said, “The Roadmap identifies some next steps for the region to pursue our renewable energy future. Its findings will be considered by the Regional Partnerships and shared with our communities and industry. Collaboration across sectors will be an important part of our next steps.”