Craig Hanicek

25 September 2013 — The South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence, a sustainable energy initiative, is delivering improved outcomes for renewable energy stakeholders across southeast NSW and the ACT.

The ACT has a renewable energy target of 90 per cent by 2020 with southeast New South Wales endowed with an abundance of natural resources including wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy and wave power.

SEREE project officer Craig Hanicek, a keynote speaker at All-Energy Australia in Melbourne on 9 and 10 October, said it was clear that rather than government and private enterprise competing with one another on green initiatives, banding together would bring far better results.

“The synergies are there, so really collaboration is a no brainer. It then just becomes a question of how best to do it.”

The SERREE network comprises representatives from federal, state/territory and local governments, business and industry, education, skills training and research institutions, as well as the community sector that includes landholders and not-for-profits.

The organisation is on an 18-month quest to optimise development of the region’s renewable energy sector and is looking at breaking new ground in the area of sustainability.

Mr Hanicek said across the region people were eager for opportunities to reinvigorate their towns and potentially thousands of new jobs would be created in the clean energy space over the ensuing decade.

“Without any shadow of doubt renewable energy initiatives will both strengthen and diversify local economies,” he said.

“Next month work starts on the region’s first, and Australia’s largest, utility-scale solar project, the 20 megawatt Royalla Solar Farm, just south of Tuggeranong in the ACT. That immediately means the creation of around 100 construction jobs.

“And that is only the start, with another three solar farms and six wind projects in the pipeline.”

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