Delegates, here is the April MERC Newsletter, please circulate the Newsletter to your fellow Councilors and senior staff, so they can appreciate and understand the excellent work the Association and you are doing on behalf of your Council and community, with regard to mining and energy related matters.
COVID-19 Virus Impact on MERC
The NSW Government continues to work very closely with Councils to support communities across the state in response to COVID and the changing hotspots. If there is a resurgence of the virus from time to time the 2021 meetings may be affected, however the Gunnedah meeting will be a normal face to face meeting at this stage to encourage attendance in person and networking.
Next Meetings for the Association in 2021
This meeting round in May 2021 could be the last meeting for the year until November when the AGM has to be held, as the scheduled August meeting will either be cancelled or brought forward to July, in view of the caretaker situation of councils in August, as a result of the September 4th Local Government elections. The delegates will discuss the next meetings in 2021 on 21st May 2021.
Meanwhile the program for the next meeting in Gunnedah is:
On Thursday 20th May 2021 a tour (pick up from Maverick Bistro) from 1pm of the Whitehaven Coal Mine at Maules Creek, arrive 2pm, depart 3pm to visit to the historic former Mackellar family home Kurrumbede Homestead (parents of renowned poet Dorothea Mackellar), both owned by Whitehaven Coal, then a visit to the Orange Grove Rd Solar Farm site around 4pm, return by 5pm, followed by a networking dinner on Thursday at Maverick Bistro, Conadilly St Gunnedah, 6.30pm.
The meeting on Friday 21st May 2021 will be a “face to face” meeting held in Gunnedah Shire Council Smithurst Theatre in their Civic precinct, entrance via Conadilly St, next to the Town Hall building, near the roundabout where the Miners Statue is on display.
If you haven’t already booked, the accommodation options near the Maverick Bistro in Conadilly St, Gunnedah, down past the Services Club are:
Gunnedah Motor Inn, across the road left and lower price range tariff, Ph 67422377, Mobile 0438136558; Maynestay – next door, mid-price range, ph 67427152; Alyn Motel – across the road right, mid-price range, ph 67425028; Billabong – next block towards town centre, low price range, ph 67422033; Mackellar- next block towards town centre, top price range, ph 67426838.
We hope you have booked by now as Gunnedah has accommodation however, it is very popular due to the extensive mining and rural activities in the area, so delegates are encouraged to book early.
The Executive Committee will have a zoom meeting on 17th May 2021 before the Ordinary meeting on 21stth May. The Executive Officer needs numbers for the tour and/or dinner Thursday 20th May and those attending the meeting on Friday 21st May as soon as possible.
MERC will be particpating in the 2021 LGNSW Annual Conference in November with stand, attend dinner, target/talk to potential members, to include pamphlets, notepads with “We are your voice – become a member” or suchlike (badges) on them for handouts, a banner indicating locality of members throughout NSW, a video to play on a laptop to link back to the webpage, set up a membership page on the website, etc, relying on “face to face” conversation and relationship selling.
A membership page has been established on the website with a facility to contact the Association for more details, encouraging membership. Meanwhile it is bad news after Singleton and now Cessnock City Council have withdrawn from MERC, from 1 /7/21, leaving no Hunter Valley Councils in MERC.
It appears that the Hunter councils with their Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils Hunter 2050 Strategic Plan, the NSW Minerals Council coal mining campaign and the respective regional and local business entities in the LGA’s have been extremely active in forming advocay bodies of their own, to make sure that coal mining has a continued presence in the Hunter Valley in someway to ensure jobs and the economic impacts of any decline in coal mining activity so that it doesn’t destroy their communities.
List of Speakers for future meetings of MERC
MERC will be continually pursuing the following speakers for future meetings
- Hon Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning & Public Spaces, Liberal Party;
- Hon Matt Kean, Minister for Energy & Environment, Liberal Party;
- Hon John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Investment & Trade, Leader of NSW National Party;
- Hon Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture & Western NSW, National Party;
- David Shoebridge MLC (Energy) & Abigail Boyd MLC (Mining), from The Greens;
- Other relevant Opposition party members and government senior officers will also be pursued for meetings as required depending on locality of the meetings – Shadow Minister for Local Government (Greg Warren) keen to address delegates post COVID;
- Leader of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in Legislative Assembly & MP for Orange, Phil Donato;
- Relevant Senior Departmental Executives;
- CEO’s, Clean Energy Council and Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ARENA, and various renewable energy speakers, etc.
- Business and Industry leaders that have matters of interest for members.
Speakers for the 21st May 2021 being pursued are Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Hon Adam Marshall (tentatively confirmed), an EPA Senior Officer from the Armidale Office (awaiting confrimation), NSW Minerals Council CEO Steven Galilee (unavailable for this meeting but happy to address a future meeting), Geni Energy principal Rohan Boehm (confirmed) and Chair IPC, Mary O’Kane (yet to indicate but would want teleconference facilities which may not be available in the Smithurst Theatre), Donatella D’Amico, DPIE Resources for Regions (yet to confirm). Invitations have been sent and are being pursued with vigour.
Research Fellowship Update
Unfortunately, the PhD project has come to an end. In a recent discussion with Peter he is working on his report on the participatory modelling concept for MERC while trying to make a living and refocussing. The Executive Officer will forward documentation on participatory modelling from the PhD student (when received) to all members as information on the project
In discussions with Peter in late April, he is still progressing with report.
Submission to Resources for NSW – Rehabilitation Operational Standards.
Bronwen Sandland, NSW Resources Regulator, Resources NSW, Senior Policy Officer requested MERC to provide feedback on six draft guidelines to support the proposed new rehabilitation standard conditions and associated mandatory requirements in the Mining Regulation. The guidelines are intended to help the leaseholders comply with the new requirements. The documents available for comment were the following six guidelines:
- Guideline 1: Rehabilitation Risk Assessment
- Guideline 2: Rehabilitation Records
- Guideline 3: Rehabilitation Controls
- Guideline 4: Mine Rehabilitation Portal
- Guideline 5: Rehabilitation Objectives and Rehabilitation Completion Criteria
- Guideline 6: Achieving Rehabilitation Completion (Sign-Off)
Peter Dupen, H2onestly Consultancy, in view of his regulatory experience with NSW Water and mining rehabilitation, was engaged to research the guidelines and to assist the Executive Officer prepare a submission on behalf of members, this was submitted to Bronwen by the due date of 30th April 2021. The submission will be circulated to members under separate cover.
The concerns and principles espoused by MERC members on rehabilitation over the years were included in the submission such as:- the need for closer monitoring by the regulators, more transparency by miner and government, test results being published for public viewing, more accountability on the miner to do the right thing with rehabilitation, engaging qualified experienced rehabilitation people using auditing standards to ensure promises made are done, not “tick and flick “tokenism, etc were included. MERC offered to be involved in any further consultation.
Muswellbrook Shire Council and Singleton Council also did submissions separately. The submissions are on the planning.nsw.gov.au website, NSW Regulator’s area.
CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME)
MERC is a partner with CRC TiME on a no cost but consultative basis. They have webinars and workshops on their progress with the CRC establishment and their collaboration efforts. They are currently organising a workshop is to talk with community leaders and local land owners about transitioning land from mining to other uses – what do communities need to know about acidification of land and what needs to be done to enable that land and the area around it to be deemed safe for communities? They need communities to participate. Professor Caroline Oldham (UAW) makes this request:
‘Very briefly, a research project, as part of a ten year collaboration between governments, mining industry partners and communities (Co-operative Research Centre for Transformation in Mining Economies) focuses on transitioning from mining operations to post mining land uses, is seeking to run several global workshops to understand the environmental, social, economic risks of acid metalliferous drainage (AMD). We are very keen to have the participation of local communities affected by this issue and their voices represented in this critical discussion that affects their livelihoods in so many different ways. We need communities to participate so their experience and voices can help drive a safe future for post-mining land use.
Who are we and what are we doing? We are researchers from The University of Western Australia, running a project within the Australian Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME). The CRC TiME brings together industry, researchers and communities to enable new opportunities for future social and economic development on mined lands (https://crctime.com.au/).
Despite having a common goal to reduce AMD risk, different stakeholders have different interpretations and awareness of the issue, resulting in fragmented strategies and in different expectations from those strategies. Stakeholders may have conflicting interests and different appreciations of the intertwined social, cultural, environmental, and economical dimensions of this problem.
Bringing these diverse stakeholders together in dialogue is essential to create future opportunities to solve the AMD challenge. Previous work on complex problems has shown that such dialogue between people with very different perspectives, can in itself be transformational and facilitate ongoing collaborative approaches.
What are collaborative dialogue online workshops? The workshops will convene under the overarching question:-Why has acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) been such a difficult issue and what can be done about it? We need to be clear about:
- Who are the key stakeholders that should be involved and what are their interests?
- How do we argue the case for better AMD management?
- Where are the emerging opportunities?
- What role do markets play in promoting progress?
- Is knowledge about improved AMD management tools effectively and efficiently implemented?
- What is already occurring and what further research is needed?
- Is the regulatory environment shaping and/or responding to AMD risk?
A virtual, online platform (QiQoChat) will be used for these workshops and all participants will have plenty of opportunities to contribute to the conversation. A very wide range of stakeholders including industry practitioners, community groups, mining engineers, policy-makers, NGOs, major investors and researchers, are invited to attend. The workshops will use Open Space Technology (OST) processes:
- Participants are invited to engage with an overarching question/theme (see above)
- Participants will have the opportunity to convene conversations and self-organise into small groups to discuss any aspect(s) of the main theme which is important to them.
- Your freedom to participate in the way which is most useful to you will be respected.
- Convenors of conversations will be invited to take notes about their group discussions, which will be consolidated in a Book of Proceedings with no personal identifiers associated with any of the comments to maintain confidentially.
- The meeting will be facilitated by an independent facilitator
- A copy of the Book of Proceedings will be sent to all participants within a few weeks of the workshops.
When are the workshops? There are two options for joining one of our five-hour workshops; each option spans across multiple time-zones. We hope you can join us for one of these sessions, and you are welcome to join both if that works for you! If you can’t make the full five hours, please join at the starting time, and stay as long as you can. The starting times for the workshop is – Wednesday 19th May 2021 and Thursday 20th May 2021, commencing at 9am.
What happens after the workshop? Thematic analysis of our collaborative dialogue with stakeholders will be used to develop research areas or themes for future CRC TiME projects. Given the transferability of concepts and methods applied in this study, we will also assess the usefulness of the collaborative dialogue processes for progressing other contested issues in mined lands. Should you have any questions, please contact Professor Carolyn Oldham on
Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023 Review
The Strategic Plan 2020-23 Strategic Directions, Deliverables and Actions were adopted by delegates at the Ordinary meeting on 27th November 2020 and is full of new strategies to be implemented over the next three years which will hopefully help with membership growth and involvement of members. It is on our web page for reference.
Discussions on its implementation will be held with the Executive Committee at its next meeting.
Renewable Energy Zones
MERC resolved on 26th February 2021 that the Executive Officer seek clarification on the name of the “Central West Orana REZ” on the basis that it is more representative of Orana than the Central West when one looks at the zone map and suggests consideration be given that it be re-named to Orana REZ. Last meeting of the Central West Orana REZ was held on 22nd February 2021, minutes were sent out. Next meeting to be held on 18th May 2021 at Dubbo Zoo.
An online webinar was held on 15th April about the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Access Scheme. The webinar provided an overview of recently released Issues Paper (see below) and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions ahead of submissions closing on 30 April.
The scheme will allocate special rights for generators and storage projects to connect to the REZ network and is an important part of our work to coordinate and encourage investment in REZs. The NSW Government‘s paper link is Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone Access Scheme Issues Paper.
IPART Rate Review of the Rate Peg to include Population Projection’s
The Towards a Fairer Rating System review by the OLG included a referral to IPART to undertake a review of the rate peg to include population projections focussing on metropolitan, Local Government areas where the population projections are positive. The Joint Chairs Forum is meeting with IPART on 27th May 2021 at IPART’s request to discuss the review extending it to look at regional NSW where there are areas with high and low population projections. IPART wants to discuss the responses with the 13 Chairs of the Joint Organisations in NSW from their call for submissions on this which closed on 3rd May 2021.
Submissions on the Discussion Paper closed on 3rd May 2021, it is on their IPART web page – www.ipart.nsw.gov.au. There has been no movement by the OLG to develop guidelines on mining rates being reduced to be equal to or less than business rates.
Related Matters of Interest – Mining and Energy Issues
“Epuron Submits Plans for 300mw Wind Farm in NSW Coal Country” Sophie Vorrath, 31st March 2021 writes: “Plans to build a 300MW wind farm in the New South Wales Hunter region have been lodged with the state’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the project’s developer has announced. Sydney-based renewables developer Epuron said on Wednesday that the Bowmans Creek Wind Farm development application and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had been lodged and were on public exhibition, after two years of ecological studies, technical assessments and community consultation.
According to the EIS, the roughly $570 million project proposes to install up to 60 wind turbines at Bowmans Creek, around 10km east of Muswellbrook in NSW coal country and 120 km north-west of the Port of Newcastle in NSW. The land that would host the wind farm is mostly privately-owned property, predominantly used for beef cattle grazing, the document says. The Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power plants are located 10km south-west of the wind farm’s proposed boundary.
“The region is a significant power generating area accommodating active coal mines and two coal fired power stations,” the EIS says. “The renewable energy sector is emerging with one solar, one pumped hydro and one wind farm project either in the assessment process or approved.”
How locals might feel about another renewable energy generation project being installed in their region remains to be seen, although local media reports suggest there has been some push back against Epuron’s plans, already.
According to the Singleton Argus in October of last year, a local group called Stop The Spin Hunter Valley (STS) have said the project shouldn’t go ahead in its current location, and that the region is becoming “a dumping ground for everyone else’s energy issues.” https://www.singletonargus.com.au/story/6978012/bowmans-creek-wind-farm-has-its-critics.
Just how much opposition – and support – the project has attracted will soon be clear, with the EIS exhibition period running for six weeks until 11 May 2021, giving members of the public the opportunity to make a formal submission to the Department.
Epuron, meanwhile, has plenty of experience developing wind energy projects, with 570MW of turbines in operation in Australia resulting from its development work, “including more than 216 turbines across four wind farms.”
According to the EIS, in New South Wales alone Epuron currently has more than 2,300MW of approved wind energy projects in the pipeline. And in Tasmania, the company has been in the process of developing a 12.5MW solar farm in the state’s north-west and is pursuing plans for a 300MW wind farm in the island state’s Central Highlands. Refer www.reneweconomy.com
“Surge in New Coal Mine Properties in NSW Triggers Fresh Call for Coal Moratoruim” Michael Mazergarb, 31st March 2021, writes: ”There has been a surge in applications for new coal mines to be established in the NSW Upper Hunter Region, with proponents rushing to head off potential coal mine moratoriums.
According to research undertaken by think tank The Australia Institute, 2020 saw a significant surge in planning lodgements for new coal mines in New South Wales, with the pipeline for new projects now so large that there is a real prospect that the state’s coal handling infrastructure could be overloaded, and projects could fail to find buyers for coal if they all go ahead.
“While the proponents of each new coal project make optimistic claims about how their project will deliver a significant increase in coal exports, royalty revenues, and employment, it is clear that all of these claims cannot simultaneously be true,” a new report released by the think tank says. “With flat or falling world coal demand, no plans to expand the volume of coal exports the Port of Newcastle can handle, and no likelihood of new coal fired power stations being built in NSW there is simply no market for, nor transport infrastructure to market, an enormous increase in new coal production in NSW or the Upper Hunter Valley.”
“Building new coal mines when existing coal mines are under-utilised increases disruption to the existing workforce and imposes additional external costs on other Hunter Valley landowners and communities,” the report adds.
A total of 11 new coal mines were added to the ‘major projects’ list maintained by the federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, with the potential to produce a combined 68.2 million tonnes of coal annually. This was a dramatic increase compared to the handful of projects that were added to the list in 2019, indicating that the coal industry may be to accelerating the development of new coal projects, which The Australia Institute suggests is motivated by the increasing likelihood of tighter coal project restrictions in the future.
There are 23 prospective coal mines currently sitting on the governments ‘major projects’ list in New South Wales, with a combined capacity to produce an equivalent of 15 Adani Carmichael coal mines worth of output.
The Australia Institute has called on governments to step in and limit the development of new coal mines, arguing that the global demand for coal is falling, and it would be “absurd” to allow more mines to open. “World demand for coal is falling, not rising. Trying to build 10 new Adani mines’ worth of coal mines in the Upper Hunter at precisely the time world demand for coal is falling is absurd,” the Australia Institute’s chief economist, Dr Richard Denniss, said.
“The NSW Government’s enthusiasm in approving a record number of coal mines does little more than offer false hope to the Hunter region, locking huge parts of the Hunter into the past while failing to plan for the future. New coal mine approvals destroys prime Australian farmland, which impacts current and future investment in Australia’s agriculture, wine, and tourism industries, leaving significant liabilities for the NSW Government and lasting scars on the Upper Hunter,” Denniss added.
Denniss said the NSW government should introduce a moratorium on new coal mines to allow for a measured response to the use of the state’s existing coal resources to avoid overloading the state’s existing coal infrastructure. “What we need is a moratorium on the approval of new coal mines, so the NSW Government can look at all of the applications currently in train and develop a cohesive plan. At the moment there are more mines seeking approval than could ever be handled by the rail networks and the Port of Newcastle, let alone the world’s coal customers,” Denniss added.
One of the projects added to the development list in 2020 was the Mount Pleasant Optimisation project, which proposes to expand the output of an existing mine near Muswellbrook by up to 21 million tonnes per year. The proposal was the subject of an objection submitted to the NSW planning department by Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, who own a nearby grazing property. Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was recently appointed to chair a new NSW government zero emissions and clean energy advisory body.
According to the Turnbulls, there are substantial doubts about the future ability of the mine’s operator, MACH Energy Australia, to remediate the site at the conclusion of mining operations, as well as contributing to unacceptable air quality impacts due to pollution caused by the mine.
“Can Rooftop Solar & Household Batteries Keep Grid Stable When Big Generators Fail? Michael Mazergarb, 1st April 2021, writes: “A new Australian research project will investigate how the growing number of small-scale energy devices, like rooftop solar and battery storage systems, can help in maintaining reliable supplies of power when the grid is impacted by sudden and unexpected equipment failures.
The study, to be undertaken by researchers at the University of New South Wales, will investigate how distributed energy resources behave during periods of unexpected disruptions in the energy system in an effort to boost system resilience.
The $2.1 million study will develop ways to improve the collection of data, monitor inverter and other device behaviours and develop new standards and tools for measuring the performance of rooftop solar and other energy resources within the grid.
The study will be led by Naomi Stringer from UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, who said there was a key need to effectively integrate low emissions technologies to ensure reliable and stable supplies of power while helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The study will focus on the behaviour of distributed energy resources during “contingency” events when unexpected interruptions or failures put the operation of the wider grid at risk. Examples of these contingency events include the failure of network infrastructure due to fire or lightning strikes or unscheduled outages at large thermal generators. “Australia is now leading the world in home solar PV installations, with more than 2.5 million systems across the country. How these systems behave when sitting on our rooftops can have material impacts on the broader electricity grid,” Stringer said.
“Unexpected events such as lightning strikes and equipment failures take place every day in the power grid. Very occasionally major disturbances occur, and the ability of the overall power system to ride through and then recover is key.”
Stringer said there was an important need to study the behaviour of rooftop solar and devices like battery storage during these events, both to understand how they are likely to respond to such disruptions but also to identify ways in which such systems could be used to mitigate the impacts of supply disruptions.
“Impacts of rooftop solar can be particularly acute during disturbance events when the grid is already strained, posing new risks to power system security. However, there are also important opportunities to harness rooftop solar capabilities to help restore power system security. Despite this growing role and potential impact, there is very little data showing how solar PV behaves in the field during such events,” Stringer added.
UNSW researchers will work to collate data from a large number of rooftop solar data, in partnership with UNSW spin-off Solar Analytics, crunching the data to better understand their behaviour. This will include monitoring the compliance of inverters with relevant standards.
The Australian Energy Market Operator, which will also partner in the project, said that the outcomes of the study would help build a more robust energy system as the uptake of technologies like rooftop solar and batteries continues to grow.
“The findings of this project will help us build the smarter grid we need to operate securely, safely and reliably with much higher levels of distributed generation. It’s making sure we’ve got the tools in place and can support the decisions that consumers are making to invest in these kinds of resources,” AEMO’s Chief Member Services Officer Violette Mouchaileh said.
The three-year study will be supported by a $981,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ARENA CEO Darren Miller said that the study would provide important insights into the role that rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources could play in managing unexpected events in the energy system.
“UNSW’s project is an exciting step in developing the vital components for rooftop solar and DER and the benefits they bring to supporting the electricity grid,” Miller said. “Integrating renewables into the electricity system is a key priority for ARENA, so the tools being developed throughout the project will help to ensure that Australia’s record-breaking solar installations continue to be of benefit to the grid and in helping with system security.”
“Sydney Factory to Share Rooftop Generated Solar Power with Employees” Sophie Vorrath, 1st April 2021 writes: “An 800kW solar system installed on the industrial rooftop of a window furnishing company in Sydney will soon supply power to that company’s employees, by offering the PV generated power that is unused by the Sydney factory on weekends to workers’ households.
The solar sharing scheme, which is believed to be an Australian first, is a collaboration between the Australian arm of international window furnishings supplier Hunter Douglas, energy traceability software company Enosi, and retailer Simply Energy.
It came about when Hunter Douglas, having installed the 800kW solar system on its Rydalmere factory roof in mid-2018, found it was exporting to the grid a great deal of solar energy on weekends and on weekdays in summer after 4pm, when the factory was closed.
So when an opportunity came up to access Enosi’s Powertracer solar sharing technology through a new retail supply contract with Simply Energy, the company signed up and went about working on a scheme that would extend its rooftop solar savings to its employees. “The employee energy plan is a practical and future-proofing way to share the benefits of on-site commercial solar production with our employee community no matter how far flung they may be,” said Peter Hughes, the director of finance at Hunter Douglas Australia.
At the scheme’s heart is Enosi’s Powertracer platform, that essentially allows consumers to choose the provenance of their renewable electricity supply, by enabling the direct traceability of half-hourly energy settlements, including their source and settlement price.
The Australian technology, which was tested on a small scale in early 2019 through a partnership with NSW retailer Energy Locals, was last year scaled up under the guidance of an energy incubator program run by Energy Estate. The arrangement with Hunter Douglas, which is in the very early stages, will offer staff members access to the company’s excess rooftop solar, as long as they have a smart meter and are willing to change retailers to Simply Energy.
“After that, after the metering has been sorted out… we begin matching how much of their energy is being supplied off their boss’s roof,” said Enosi CEO Steve Hoy in an interview with One Step Off The Grid. “Every kilowatt-hour that is matched attracts a 5 cent discount and so Powertracer not only calculates the volume but also the discount, and we pass that back to Simply Energy’s building systems and it turns up as a line item on the customer’s bill that says ‘this is the renewable energy supplied from the boss’s roof and …the discount you get for that.”
For Hunter Douglas, the scheme means it can extend the value of its solar investment to employees and “create a kind of family vibe,” says Hoy, while still getting the same return for the power as the company would sending it to the grid.
For Hunter Douglas employees, it offers the option to choose clean energy without having to invest in or own their own rooftop solar asset, and to pay some of the lowest prices for electricity in the state. For Enosi, however, the implications of the employee energy plan are far-reaching given the widespread use of commercial rooftops by business across Australia.
“Most of these businesses face the reality of high weekday load and a drop off on weekends and public holidays resulting in exporting excess clean energy to the grid,” the company says. “By being able to accurately trace generated power, such businesses can now decide to whom this power is shared and energy retailers are given another channel for fruitfully engaging with customers who have a preference for renewable power at a lower cost.”
Hoy also sees it as a crucial part of the future energy market equation for major corporations that have pledged to source all of their electricity from renewables and need to fill any supply-side gaps in their large-scale wind and solar power purchase agreements. “We call it the shift from net-zero to true-zero, because we’re not netting anything off anymore, we’re not compensating, offsetting, we’re saying, truly buy renewable energy and match it in the hour that is produced.
“We’re seeing this worldwide trend just emerging, there’s really, really strong leadership coming from [big tech companies] like Google [that are pledging] worldwide, to match every kilowatt-hour that they’re consuming with the renewable sources that they’re procuring from.
“So, [Google] has been five years or so of doing 100% renewables but using certificates, offsets, and they recognise that doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t actually push the fossil fuels out of the market, it just kind of takes somebody else’s certificate, frankly.” Refer www. reneweconomy.com.au
Disclaimer The comments and details in the articles in this newsletter do not reflect the views, policies or position of the Association or its member Councils and are sourced and reproduced from public media outlets by the Executive Officer to provide information for members that they may not already be exposed to in their Local Government areas