Remote Renewable Energy in Australia: Barriers to Uptake and the Community Engagement Imperative
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The provision of safe and reliable energy is essential for the development of a modern economy and has been the prime goal of domestic energy policy. There are, however, many remote communities in Australia that lack access to a conventional electricity grid but are well placed to take advantage of viable alternatives. In these situations the deployment of renewable energy systems would not only solve the electricity supply problems but would also assist in achieving environmental policy goals by cutting net greenhouse gas emissions and moving communities closer to sustainable development. The utilisation of these alternatives also offers an interesting laboratory to test the theoretical framework of ecological modernisation that underpins environmental policies. Despite their many benefits, the uptake of renewable energy systems in remote communities often remains curiously low. This paper investigates the barriers to change by analysing some of the political, economic and social factors that have been at work. The results provide some useful findings, particularly with regards to the need for effective community engagement in successful policy implementation.
APSA Conference, Newcastle 2006
Copyright 2006 Australasian Political Studies Association (APSA). Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link to access conference website.