Mayo leads way in renewable energy
In the lead-up to hosting five energy forums for businesses and farmers across Mayo, Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie completed a road trip of renewable energy projects across her electorate.
Ranging from a solar and battery-storage household in Heathfield to a McLaren Vale winery that generates most of its own power, the NXT Member for Mayo was able to see how individuals, businesses and organisations were attempting to reduce their carbon footprint and protect themselves from rapidly rising power costs.
Ms Sharkie said she used the road trip, organised by the Australian Conservation Foundation before the autumn parliamentary sitting, to research what technologies were being used in her region and how they were performing; and what communities felt about renewable energy.
“Energy is such huge issue in my electorate, across the State, at the moment whether it’s the exorbitant prices of electricity or the insecurity of energy supply,” Ms Sharkie said.
“Businesses have not only lost huge sums in lost stock and production through the recurring blackouts but I’m hearing stories from people who are putting off staff or are facing the closure because their power bills are driving out them of business.
“I think it’s the biggest hurdle to economic growth this State faces.
“That’s why in May we have invited the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to come to Mayo to facilitate forums for businesses to help them find out what renewable technologies and systems are out there that they can use, and how they can source finance.”
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.
Four of the five short forums are free of charge and are being held in Mt Barker (Auchendarroch House, 7.15-9.15am, charge for breakfast) and Victor Harbor (Gospel Christian Centre,1-3pm) on May 2 and on Kangaroo Island (Kingscote Football Club, 11.30am-1.30pm) on May 3.
Two of the forums are for agri-businesses and are being held at Longview Vineyard at Macclesfield, 10-11.30am, May 2; and at Island Pure sheep dairy at Cygnet River, 3-5pm, May 3.
Caption: Heathfield resident Keith Bladon controls his household power from his garage. He shows the battery technology and the charging point for his electric car to Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.