New charter puts communities at centre of renewable energy developments

Thirty-seven major businesses will officially sign on to a new best practice charter for renewable energy developments at the Australian Clean Energy Summit today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry had come out in force in support of the charter, which was designed to set a high benchmark for the conduct of renewable energy developers in relation to communities living close to the projects they build and operate.

“The new Best Practice Charter for Renewable Energy Developments is a voluntary commitment by companies to engage respectfully with local communities, be sensitive to environmental and cultural values, and make a positive contribution to the local regions in which they operate. It includes a list of 10 pledges which promote sensitive development practices,” Mr Thornton said.

“Renewable energy is now the lowest cost kind of energy generation we can build today, and regional communities will see more of these projects over the coming decades. The industry understands we need to invest strongly in bringing local communities with us on the journey to secure the clean energy sector’s long-term success.” 

More than 40 wind and solar projects worth close to $10 billion are currently under construction or about to start under the national Renewable Energy Target (RET). While these projects bring with them many economic opportunities and thousands of jobs, there has never been a more important time for our industry to ensure that we are sharing these benefits with local people.

“The charter is an initiative by the Clean Energy Council and our members, which continues to build on the extensive work we have done to set a high bar across the industry for community engagement over the course of this decade,” he said.

Emma Hackett