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Here’s how to create jobs for First Nations Australians in the clean energy transition

By Chris Briggs, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney and Ruby Heard, PhD candidate in energy justice at The University of Melbourne. 

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Done well, the renewable energy transition should improve the lives of First Nations Australians. Many are looking for ways to stay on Country, use their knowledge of Country and contribute to industries that align with their values.

Large-scale renewable energy projects and mines for critical minerals are often sited on lands with First Nations legal rights. Access arrangements should provide direct benefits to communities.

Here’s how ‘microgrids’ are empowering regional and remote communities across Australia

By Simon Wright, Senior Research Fellow, Energy & Circularity at Gulbali Institute, Charles Sturt University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

Small collections of electricity generators, or “microgrids”, have long been used in disaster recovery, when network supply falters during bushfires or cyclones.

But now the technology is being used to provide secure, 24-7 supplies of clean energy in Australian communities where connection to the main electricity grid is but a pipedream.

The nuclear and renewable myths that mainstream media can’t be bothered challenging

By Mark Diesendorf, Honorary Associate Professor at the Environment & Society Group in the School of Humanities & Languages and Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW.

This opinion piece was first published in Pearls and Irritations. Republished with permission of the author.

Nuclear energy proponents are attempting to discredit renewable energy and promote nuclear energy and fossil gas in its place. This article refutes several myths they are disseminating that are receiving little or no challenge in the mainstream media.

Solar Citizens’ First Multilingual Community Workshop

On 5 June 2024, Solar Citizens hosted our first multilingual community workshop, and it was a great success. 

This workshop was part of Solar Citizens' Energy Equity Speakers Program, which is aimed at empowering voices from Sydney’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities around issues such as renewable energy, electric transport, and the impact of increasing energy bills on cost of living.

Power to the People: Wolli Creek community energised by reducing power bills and exploring renewable energy options

A small and enthusiastic group of Wolli Creek residents attended the Voices for Power
energy literacy workshop at St Magdalene’s Chapel in Wolli Creek on Tuesday 22 May.

The event was hosted by Electrify Wolli Creek, in partnership with Solar Citizens, and delivered by Sydney Community Forum, who came together to help community members better understand and read their current energy bill. The community event also provided participants with information on renewable energy solutions, energy efficiency and the benefits of getting off gas.

Solar Citizens' path to New Vehicle Efficiency Standards

It's been a long journey and taken several years but on the 16th of May the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) legislation passed Federal Parliament. This legislation will bring more affordable electric vehicles, and more efficient fuel vehicles, into the Australian market from January 1st 2025!

What follows below is a timeline of the journey we've been on to achieve this monumental result. A big thank you to all the staff and solar citizens like you who have contributed along the way.

Power to the People: Brisbane forum hears how Australians could save $9 billion on power bills

Community members, civil society and climate groups, and energy experts gathered in Brisbane in April 2024 to discuss Queensland’s energy transition, the key policies of the major parties and plans for community action in the lead-up to the October State election. 

Weren’t able to make it? Watch the Event Recording Video

During the event, Joel Pringle, acting CEO at Solar Citizens, said, “Queensland is both a global and international leader in rooftop solar, with more than 1 million rooftop solar installations.”

Joel outlined that new analysis released on on 14 April, commissioned by Solar Citizens and conducted by the Australian PV Institute at the University of NSW for Solar Citizens, revealed Australian households could save a massive $9.3 billion on energy bills each year by investing in the untapped solar potential of residential rooftops across the nation.

You did this! Clean Energy and Jobs legislation passes with bi-partisan support in Queensland.

April 2024 was a historic time in the Queensland Parliament.

Solar Citizens’ supporters like you have been campaigning alongside allied organisations for the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan to include firm commitments on emissions reductions and strong renewable energy targets for more than a decade.

The Queensland Government this month passed landmark laws guaranteeing 80% renewable energy generation by 2035, and powerful emissions reductions targets of 75% reduction by 2035. 

This commitment locks in the work of Solar Citizens supporters over the last 10 years demanding cleaner, more affordable energy for all. Queensland has come so far in just the last few years, from a renewable energy laggard to world leaders in rooftop solar uptake – this legislation will ensure availability of even more cheap, clean energy from the sun for years to come.

Nuclear's yesterday's technology, with a vintage price tag

The following opinion piece by Solar Citizens acting CEO Joel Pringle was first published in the Newcastle Herald.

The Newcastle Herald's recent headline 'Nationals scope out the Upper Hunter for nuclear power plant site' (NH 19/4), may as well have read 'Nationals push for Hunter to become a horse and buggy hotspot'.

Launching 'Electrify Wolli Creek'

By Carolin Wenzel and Justine Lawson, Wolli Creek residents

Solar Citizens and residents of Discovery Point at Wolli Creek have teamed up to launch Electrify Wolli Creek, a community-driven initiative dedicated to exploring energy efficiency and renewable energy options for apartment living.

During the launch event, held both at the Magdalene Chapel and outside Wolli Creek railway station, residents engaged with displays and representatives, showing keen interest in sustainable energy solutions such as rooftop solar installations, EV charging infrastructure, heat pump hot water systems, and induction cooking.