Energy sector finalists announced in Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards

The Renew project

A country council that wants to be Victoria’s solar renewable energy capital, a partnership between three regional Community Power Hubs, a world’s first report by expert volunteers and Victoria’s first renewable energy auction are among the finalists just announced in the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Finalists with energy-focused projects are:

Gannawarra Shire Council. Built Environment category: Home to Gannawarra Large Scale Solar, Gannawarra Shire Council builds sustainability initiatives both within its own practices and extends them to their local community, benefitting the environment and economy.

Community Power Hubs. Community category: Gippsland Climate Change Network, Bendigo Sustainability Group and Ballarat Renewable Energy have combined forces to enable their residents to have greater ownership of their energy futures by co-ordinating community energy in each location.

Renew. Community and Environmental Justice categories: A not-for-profit working in sustainability for over 30 years on projects co-developed with community and partners, Renew has developed an Australian first, best practice model for how the Hepburn Shire can reach a carbon-neutral goal in a replicable framework of social and environmental justice within 10 years.

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Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE). Environmental Volunteering category: BZE is a small research organisation that engages expert volunteers to produce and promote independent, innovative research solutions demonstrating that a zero emissions Australia is achievable and affordable. Electrifying Industry is their report, now influencing the wider community and industry about the environmental benefits of using renewable electricity to eliminate emissions.

Barwon Water. Government category: Barwon Water has embraced an ambitious plan to take action on climate change by achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and zero net emissions by 2030. By adopting the carbon reduction hierarchy of ‘avoid’, ‘minimise’, ‘switch’, ‘sequester’ and ‘offset’, it is already leading the region’s transition to a more sustainable future. Barwon Water is already delivering projects totalling almost 50 per cent of its renewable electricity target.

Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction. Government category: Victoria’s first renewable energy auction, conducted by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is supporting the development of more than 900 megawatts of new clean energy and will ensure that 25 per cent of our electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, 40 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030. The auction is part of the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets program.

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The Premier’s Sustainability Awards is one of Victoria’s major sustainability programs, celebrating people working to reduce the impact of climate change and to create a better future for us all.

The interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Carl Muller, congratulated finalists for their innovative work, building a more sustainable environment for current and future generations.

“Delivering these Awards means we continue to discover and celebrate the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for thinking creatively about new models of sustainability,” he said. 

“The Awards, now in their 17th year, acknowledge leadership, innovation and achievement. Each finalist is commended for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government, education, health and within the community.”

Winners will be announced across 11 categories at the Awards ceremony on Thursday, October 10 at Forum Melbourne