In this podcast, Beyond Zero speaks to Alison Crook AO, the chair of Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer and social enteprise Enova Energy, based in the Northern Rivers region in NSW.
Enova is breaking exciting new ground as a notable pioneer in the rapidly growing community renewable energy field. Enova is transforming community energy models.
BZE Technology Radio Show: 3 Feb 2017: Podcast
Beyond Zero Emissions talks to Alison Crook AO:
Alison Crook AO speaks about her beautiful Norther Rivers, where her family has a long history in the region. Northern Rivers extends along the Eastern seaboard from Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border and the Enova’s Community Energy group arose out of the justifiable frustration at the disinterest and lack of will demonstrated by State and Federal governments in renewable generation. And the local threat of the development of CSG in the area was the final straw.
Like Bendigo bank it contributes to social benefits and has a not-for-profit arm and also an education aspect with volunteers encouraging energy consumers, where interested, in cutting emissions. Most have their own rooftop solar PV but there is no collective community solar farm – as yet!
In the podcast, Alison provides a simple explaination of the highly regulated Natioanl Electricity Market, currently operating mainly from fossil fuel with prices fluctuating every 1/2 hour (with spikes). Fron the generator, the next stage – distribution and transmission – is where 10% of the energy can be lost. The retailer can protect the consumer from the spike effect and can, and does define the profit margins and so what sort of discount they are willing to offer – more when the customer threatens to move to another retailer! Enova offers 12c /kWh Feed-in Tariff which is better than that can be obtained currently elsewhere. It is estimated that 140,000 have recently (start of 2017) lost premiums Feed-in Tariffs in NSW. Alison sees a “huge capacity for change” but there is “lots of work involved”. She still maintains this is cheaper than the “green power” on offer. Whilst there is a different pricing structure in different states, there is a lot of interest in Victoria. More information can be found on the website www.enovaenergy.com.au and Alison and Enova will be making an exciting announcement at the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne 27-28 February 2017.
BZE Interviewers: Kay Wennagel, Michael Staindl, Natalie Bucknell
Summary written by: Bev McIntyre
Interview broadcast on: 3 Feb 2017
From Radio 3CR in Melbourne, Australia