Social License and Renewable Energy Zones

Social licence emerges

Social license emerges as critical issue for renewable energy zones, NSW says

The NSW government could consider using new powers to prohibit renewable energy projects from connecting to the grid in circumstances where there is strong community opposition to the project, in a message to project developers that building and maintaining strong social license will be critical to the state’s renewable energy zones.

Under new legislation recently passed by the NSW parliament, the NSW government has the power to prohibit projects from connecting to the grid within a renewable energy zone where there is “significant opposition from the community in the local area” in an effort to maintain goodwill with the local community.

Andrew Bray, the national director of the RE-Alliance, which has long served as renewable energy advocate and intermediator between projects and local communities, told the forum that early engagement by project developers with the local community was critical and warned that once community confidence in a project was lost, it was virtually impossible to gain it back.

Read the full article at Renew Econony

Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 No 44
   Division 2 Access schemes for renewable energy zones
      29 Orders prohibiting connection to network infrastructure
(4) The infrastructure planner must not make an order unless satisfied that—
(a) there is significant opposition from the community in the local area to the proposed infrastructure, and
(b) making the order is reasonably necessary to maintain community support in the local area for other infrastructure in the renewable energy zone, and
(c) making the order is in the public interest.

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“AusNet needs to do better, the government needs to pay attention, and all behind the project need to get it right. If they don’t, the social licence of renewables will be significantly harmed.”

Catherine King MP, Member for Ballarat

“The Government has been urging us for years now to leave behind the energy generation of the past – that is coal and gas – and yet here it is proposing to connect the energy generation of the future with the transmission technology of the 20th Century”

Danny O'Brien MP, Member for Gippsland South

“The failure of the RIT-T process to fully consider the WVTNP’s costs, in the manner of a full economic impact assessment, seems extraordinary.”

Beverley McArthur MP, Member for Western Victoria Region

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