Power to the People: Goulburn Leads the Way

Solar energy and wind power stations

There are few subjects as polarising as global warming and electricity generation. God-forbid the cost of our power bills. Politicians on both sides have hijacked the issue, created ideological division used to score political points.

Coal, renewables and money. They are all inextricably linked. The country is seemingly split between two camps. There are those who are loyal to coal and other fossil fuels, like gas, while others, and increasingly younger people see coal and gas as the enemy.

The former laud the progress that the burning of dead dinosaurs has given mankind. It cannot be denied. Times have changed however, and the people of Goulburn may very well soon be saying…. “Frack this”.

Manmade greenhouses are almost certainly causing climate change on an alarming scale, but whether you believe the overwhelming majority of scientists on this issue or not, one thing that ultimately decide what you think, is how much you pay.

Goulburn in southern New South Wales, is a farming town known for cold wind and wooly marinos. But an energy revolution is brewing. The community has come together to build its own 4,000-panel solar farm– everyday citizens are invited to buy shares in the venture and reap the rewards.

Community energy rests on the belief that everyday people should have power over how their energy is generated – including its environmental and social impacts. Big corporations should not control our energy systems, nor should they reap all the profits. The idea is spreading with over 100 community owned energy groups formed in the last five years.

Ironically, the Goulburn project will be built in the Hume electorate of federal energy minister Angus Taylor, about 3km from the town centre. Mr Taylor is a known climate change denier and big supporter of coal and gas companies.

Feel free to google ‘community energy projects’ in your area and help give the power back to the people !

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