The transition to renewable energy is proceeding more and more quickly, and New England has been declared a 'renewable energy zone' by the NSW Government.
But what does this mean and how can it benefit our community?
These questions and others will be answered by Dr Jarra Hicks in this month's Sustainable Living Armidale forum entitled 'Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing in Renewable Energy Development'.
A former student of the Armidale Waldorf School, Dr Hicks now has 10 years' experience in community energy in both Australia and overseas, and her expertise spans community engagement, business models, facilitation, policy development and partnership building.
She has worked as a project manager on the ground, as well as with governments, peak bodies, NGOs and the corporate sector. She completed her PhD in Law/ Built Environment at the University of New South Wales.
Dr Hicks is founding director of the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit organisation with expertise that enables and advocates for community energy, supporting communities across Australia to engage in and benefit from the transition to renewable energy.
At Thursday's forum she will discuss the Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and what they mean, as well as what is driving the REZ approach to renewable energy transition.
She will be considering what are the opportunities the community should be asking for or expecting, and sharing examples of good practice in community engagement and benefit sharing, as well as local procurement and job opportunities.
She will also discuss how commercial companies can relate well to communities that are hosting renewable energy developments, and how the communities can negotiate to secure lasting benefits.
Sustainable Living Armidale is also hoping Dan Boyce, Chief Officer Sustainable Development at Armidale Regional Council, may also join the session to speak briefly about the council's approach.
The forum will be online this month rather than at Kent House, so go to the Sustainable Living Armidale website https://slarmidale.org/ and follow the zoom link to the forum. It will be held this Thursday, October 21, at 7.30pm.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: