As representatives of a pro-renewables community energy group, some of us were in Canberra yesterday to join 5000 or so others outside Parliament House to protest against the Adani coal mine in Queensland and in favour of stronger action on climate change.
Seriously, this mine has to be stopped, and if not by political parties (both the coalition and Labor support it) then it’ll have to be stopped by we, the people. It would be the biggest coal mine in Australia, and it’s next to the (once) Great Barrier Reef. It makes no sense.
This good-humoured rally was the end of Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy, which started in Hobart a few weeks back and headed all the way north to the mine site in Queensland and then back to Canberra for what proved to be the biggest political rally of this federal election campaign.
Bob’s message could not have been clearer.
Make this election the climate change election.
“On May 18, less now than two weeks, from now,” Bob told the crowd, “Australians as they walk up the path to the voting booth have this choice: Will you vote for Adani and more coal mines and oil wells in the Great Australian Bight, and gas fracking – $1.5bn supercharged gas fracking [as promised by the ALP]- or will you vote for life on this planet for our fellow species and for the children, the young people who, with us today, have said: ‘Secure our future.’?
“We can do it. We’ve got renewables, we’ve got love for nature, we have a planet to pass on, and Australia instead of being at the back of the class can be the leader in that – if the people are listened to.”
So, going from the very big picture to the very local, at IWCE we’re doing our bit to make change at a local level. If you’re interesting in installing solar at your house, or just want to understand more about what solar PV and batteries can offer you and your neighbourhood, or want to help us to work towards a community owned power project get in touch with us!
- Gavin Gilchrist
- Project Officer
- 0407 663 125
0407 663 125
Meet Max the dog, Suzanne and Tony, happy Annandale owners of the latest solar PV and battery system that Inner West Community Energy has facilitated. They now have a 5.4 kilowatt solar system on their house in Nelson St.
A 10 kilowatt battery will be going in within a few weeks.
“We’d wanted to do it for years,” Tony says, “but suddenly it was both affordable and sensible, with batteries. We did it for environmental reasons – but, it was affordable. The capital cost was affordable.”
Suzanne says getting help through Inner West Community Energy gave her confidence about the cost of the system and whether the prices offered were sensible, and it saved her doing all the research that would have been necessary for such a significant investment.
Tony says being part of the community energy group was “super”.
“It navigated us through the unknown terrain of getting solar,” he says.
The back of their house gets really hot in summer so they’re now looking forward to running their air conditioning as often as they like without feeling any worries about the cost or environmental impact of drawing power from the grid.
If you’d like help going solar, our next Solar Information Night is tomorrow week, Tuesday, May 7, at Gasoline Pony in Marrickville, starting at 7pm. See our Events page to register.
0407 663 125
It was standing room only in the rear courtyard of Gasoline Pony wine bar in Marrickville last night for our biggest EVER Solar Information Night!
We had 52 attendees hungry for information about how we can help them go solar at home, which is almost twice the number at our last info night at The Royal Hotel in Leichhardt, last month.
And due to popular demand, that’s why we’re doing it all again, on Tuesday, May 7. Same venue, same time, 7pm.
Last night we had a great scene-setting speech from Dr Penelope Crossley of the University of Sydney Law School, who explained how there are now 113 countries who have national renewable energy laws, and that Australia’s renewable energy law – which drives the national renewable energy target that provides rebates for household solar PV – is unique in having environmental benefits listed as the only reason for the Act. In most other countries, far more than one reason is nominated to justify government policy that drives the transition to renewable energy faster, reasons such as improving energy security, job creation, driving innovation, diversifying energy supplies, and reducing fuel imports.
Because Australia’s renewable energy law is justified on such narrow grounds, Dr Crossley told us, it has made the law far more susceptible to political attack… as we have indeed seen for many years.
Supporters of renewable energy need to remember the multiple benefits of pushing the energy transition faster.
After her talk, we then explained to the crowd how Inner West Community Energy could help them go solar, and with our preferred installers Roland Lawrence and Paul Hutt we answered everyone’s questions about going solar.
We’re now processing all the requests for help from last night’s attendees .
Thanks so much to Fiona and her team at Gasoline Pony for helping make the night such a success, and to IWCE supporter and Marrickville local Sandra Kingston for suggesting the venue in the first place.
If you’d like to join us for the next event, on May 7, hit the Events page here. https://www.facebook.com/events/2071768529526061/
Any questions, call Gavin Gilchrist , Project Manager IWCE, 0407 663 125
Sonja and Howard of View St, Annandale, had been thinking about installing solar for many years, but as busy professional people they’d found the whole process confusing and difficult to navigate.
By the time they came along to one of Inner West Community Energy’s Solar Information Nights last year they already had five quotes!
Now, with our support, they’ve got a 3.3 kilowatt system on the roof at the rear of their house, running through microinverters, installed to maximise power generation despite a fair bit of shading on the roof.
They reckon it would have taken them another 18 months to make a decision if not for Inner West Community Energy. They say they found our process helpful, trustworthy and easy.
And why did they go solar? They felt it was the right thing to do.
If you’d like help installing solar, our next Solar Information Night (tonight) is booked out but we’re holding another on Tuesday, May 7, again at Gasoline Pony in Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. See our Events page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pg/innerwestcommunityenergy/events/?ref=page_internal
We’ve had a hectic time organizing our next Solar Information Night . It’s on Tuesday 26th, 7pm at Gasoline Pony in Marrickville (It will be our biggest ever with only 3 seats left, as of now! See our Face Book Events page for details.) But we’d also like to take this chance to update our supporters with the key energy and climate policies for this Saturday’s election.
Here’s a summary of the offers of the three major parties, courtesy of John Grimes from the Smart Energy Council, the industry group that represents the solar and storage industry.
(And don’t be deceived by The Sydney Morning Herald’s “State Election Environment Guide” today. The Liberals have listed the Climate Change Fund as their signature climate initiative: that was set up 12 years ago by Labor.)
NSW Labor Party
The biggest proposed rollout of renewable energy in Australian history;
- 7 gigawatts of large-scale renewables by 2030 – 6GW by reverse auction, 1 GW through a new State-owned corporation with 4GW in first term of government;
- 500,000 new solar homes by 2030, delivered through a $2,200 subsidy;
- $100 million Solar Schools package for solar on more than 350 schools;
- $11 million to train electricians in solar and battery storage;
- 100% renewables for all State Government agencies by 2025;
- At least 50% renewables by 2030.
NSW Liberal Party
- No interest loans for solar and battery storage for 300,000 homes. This includes loans over 10 years of up to $9,000 for a battery system and up to $14,000 for a solar-battery system. This is a good initiative;
- Making it easier for strata committees to approve solar panels and batteries for apartment blocks by lowering the voting threshold from 75% to 50%;
- An extra $20 million to the Emerging Energy Program, encouraging
investment in large-scale electricity and storage projects;
- $10 million for a new recycling fund for solar panels and battery systems.
NSW Greens Party
Establish a new publicly owned electricity company to generate, distribute and retail renewable energy;
- $1 billion to support local community renewable projects and $1.5 billion a year in large-scale, publicly owned renewables projects;
- Rebates for more than one million households to install solar panels and battery storage.
- Gavin Gilchrist 0407 663 125
Members of Inner West Community Energy joined thousands of students and others at the huge Climate Change Rally in Sydney on Friday.
One of the faces amongst the many thousands was Marjan, owner of the first solar PV system to be installed from our latest round of solar sales.
Marjan, of Day St, Leichhardt, now has 12 solar panels on her roof, with a maximum capacity of 3.72 kilowatts, being fed into her house through a Solar Edge inverter with power optimisers to boost output due to a bit of shading from nearby trees and buildings – a common issue here in the Inner West.
Marjan had been thinking about going solar for quite some time but had always hesitated. She came to our Solar Information Night at the Royal Hotel in Leichhardt on February 11 and was convinced she had all the information and support needed to just do it.
In five weeks we got it done.
“I’ve been wanting to do it for a while but I’ve always thought it’s too small a house,” Marjan told us. “I’m very careful with my electricity so I thought I don’t use enough to make it worth my while until I went to the meeting at the Royal and I realised that it is worth my while.
“I have seven grandchildren and I’m doing it for them more than for myself. But it’s nice to earn a bit of money. I said to them all: ‘I’ve bought you a present! I’ve bought you all a solar panel and it’s going to be on my roof!’.
“I feel very strongly about this. It’s for the future of this planet.”
Marjan really appreciated the help Inner West Community Energy offered.
“It was fantastic. Really helpful. Because it is a little bit complicated when you start with very little knowledge. And so that meeting really kept me going. It made me go. It made me move. It made me realise that there are people there to help you in particular with finding good people to do the panels – because I’ve heard about people who scam you. That’s what stopped me doing it, too.
“It’s been a really positive experience and I’m really glad I went with it.”
Gavin Gilchrist : 0407 663 125