Cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Aware­ness about what the ob­vi­ous next step in ex­ploit­ing re­gional renewable-en­ergy growth is sinking in and it will be up to tuned-in mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils, com­mu­ni­ties and busi­ness lead­ers to seize the op­por­tu­nity.

Ararat Ru­ral City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Harrison is on the money in iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties wind and so­lar-en­ergy farms present in en­cour­ag­ing power-hun­gry in­dus­tries to the re­gions.

He is also right in declar­ing Ararat dis­trict front and cen­tre in what is evolv­ing as a west­ern Vic­to­rian renewable-en­ergy heart­land, per­fectly poised to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­nity.

He is among lead­ers well aware that when it comes to renewable-en­ergy farms in re­gional ar­eas, pro­found ben­e­fits from these de­vel­op­ments have a chance to flow through a strate­gic value-adding phi­los­o­phy.

Money flows into com­mu­ni­ties dur­ing con­struc­tion of multi-mil­lion-dol­lar en­ergy farms and a trickle of­ten con­tin­ues through com­mu­nity fund­ing ar­range­ments af­ter con­struc­tion.

But it is what can happen years beyond con­struc­tion and in­dus­trial value-adding plan­ning that has Dr Harrison more than a lit­tle in­ter­ested.

He’s far from alone. Re­gional com­mu­nity lead­ers across the coun­try are fol­low­ing with interest the progress of Bul­gana Green Power Hub near Great West­ern.

If suc­cess­ful, the part­ner­ship be­tween renewable-en­ergy de­vel­oper Neoen and

hor­ti­cul­ture pro­ducer Nec­tar Farms will break new in­ter­na­tional ground.

One of the pri­mary con­stants in the mar­ket is the de­sire for cheap, ef­fi­cient and read­ily avail­able en­ergy.

Big en­ergy users are of­ten big em­ploy­ers. This equates to a workforce and peo­ple – and peo­ple rep­re­sent what much of west­ern Vic­to­ria des­per­ately needs.

The challenge for re­gional de­vel­op­ment lead­ers ex­plor­ing this po­ten­tial will be com­ing up with at­trac­tive busi­ness-case for­mu­las and plans.

Plans must di­rectly tar­get the hip-pocket of stake­hold­ers and rep­re­sent op­por­tu­ni­ties too hard for well-es­tab­lished as well as emerg­ing in­dus­trial busi­nesses to ig­nore.

Se­cur­ing a large in­dus­trial project, com­plete with workforce, would rep­re­sent a mas­sive win for any of our re­gional or ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties – just one project could change a town’s for­tunes.

This all makes sense in our wide-open land­scape while the wind blows and the sun shines and en­ergy-stor­age tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues to rapidly ad­vance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.