Clean Energy Roadshow a boon for business
Winemakers, orchardists, food producers and community leaders seized the opportunity to learn about renewable energy systems and financing schemes during a Clean Energy Roadshow hosted by the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
Photo: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, left, and Clean Energy Finance Corporation Associate Director of Aggregation Partnerships Yolande Pepperall cuddle one of the lambs at Island Pure. The sheep dairy at Cygnet River hosted one of the Clean Energy Forums on Kangaroo Island.
The local MP ran workshops in the Adelaide Hills, Victor Harbor and Kangaroo Island last week with guest speakers from the Clean Energy Financial Corporation (CEFC), Off-Grid Energy Australia and Lucid Consulting.
“The workshops were aimed at businesses and agri-businesses because the rising cost of energy and reliability of energy supply are big issues in my electorate,” Ms Sharkie said.
“Obtaining reliable, affordable energy is one of the biggest hurdles to economic growth facing South Australia and I’m finding that businesses are turning to renewables not just for their environmental credentials but because they want to take control of their costs.
“That was why I invited the CEFC to come to Mayo, to facilitate forums for businesses to help them find out what renewable technologies and systems are out there, and how they can source finance.
“Some of the businesses I spoke afterwards were surprised to learn they could access finance via the CEFC for energy efficient, low emission machinery.
“It was also good for those CEFC representatives attending to learn about some of the financing barriers facing small businesses and farmers, particularly enterprises on Kangaroo Island.
“I’d like to sincerely thank Longview Vineyard at Macclesfield and Island Pure sheep dairy at Cygnet River on Kangaroo Island for allowing us to run the workshops on their property.”
The CEFC was set up by the Federal Government a number of years ago as part of its Clean Energy Future Program.
It is a commercially-focussed entity that co-invests and helps business and industry overcome capital market barriers to taking up efficient, low emission renewables.
Tiff Turner, the farm dairy manager at Island Pure, said their enterprise felt “honoured” to host the workshop.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to Rebekha and the people from the CEFC and Off-Grid Energy for coming out to us on Kangaroo Island,” Ms Turner said.
“It was an informative and extremely helpful seminar and came at a time when we all really need to be looking at this technology.
“Here at Island Pure we understand the need to move towards renewable energy.
“We can never be sure when the power is going to go off and with the electricity line from the mainland deteriorating, renewables is an option that needs investigating.”
Island Pure is installing solar and battery storage on its new lamb shed and fodder system, and is transitioning its dairy operations to renewables.
Fifth generation apple growers Graeme and Fiona Schultz from Forest Range attended the workshop at Longview Vineyard.
The couple’s orchard has been certified organic for the past 25 years.
“We found the workshop to be extremely useful,” Ms Schultz said.
“We want to improve our energy costs by putting solar panels on our cold stores but there are other ways to make savings so you need someone in the know to give you a hand.”