Wednesday, 7 December 2016

THE Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Adam Marshall has called for action to allow consumers with renewable energy systems to be able to trade between themselves to get even more savings on energy costs.

The Northern Tablelands MP said peer-to-peer trading would allow consumers to get the full potential from their push to a renewable energy environment and better utilise existing energy infrastructure.

Mr Marshall added more heat to the energy debate this week when he told a Uralla solar bulk-buy launch that peer-to-peer trading, or allowing solar households to share energy with other households, rather than being forced to sell their excess solar back to the grid for a peppercorn rate, was “a no-brainer”.

“Peer to peer trading should be considered because really without using the physical poles-and-wires infrastructure we have now is really not using it to its full potential either – and people trickling excess energy being generated back into the grid for some nominal fee is just a huge waste,” Mr Marshall said.

“We can be actively trading energy; with people with more than they need trading it back to those who need more energy than they can generate which would also serve to spur more businesses and homes into placing solar PV panels on their roofs.

“Peer-to-peer trading is a market driven incentive and there’s nothing stopping it, no infrastructure impediment anyway, all we need is for the federal regulator to change the rules to allow this to occur.

And he is urging a grassroots response to get regulations changed to allow more people to tap into localised generation trading.

As the newly-minted parliamentary secretary for renewable energy, Mr Marshall says that a couple of months into his role, he’s taken aim at that energy aim – and he believes public support can put the wind up authorities to move with these new times.

“It just makes sense, especially since the large feed-back tariff disappears now at a time when we’re seeing massive wind farm and other solar development across the northern tablelands and the north west of NSW and renewed interest from households and business in a new wave of PV solar and other energy savings.”

Mr Marshall said the Z-NET energy efficiency drive for Uralla showed the extent of interest.

Mr Marshall said five local businesses, including a café, diner, brewery, bowling club and hair salon had taken part in an energy monitoring experiment by the Z-NET team.

“And the forum at Uralla this week showed us just where savings can be identified for business operations like these – some of those case studies involved draught proofing, insulation installation and upgrading lighting to energy efficient LED technology, right through to a business case for installing Solar PV panels were highlighted,” he said.

Mr Marshall officially launched the Destination Uralla project, funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, to work with local business to improve energy efficiency through targeted interventions, investigate the options for renewable energy generation across the shire, and promote and build the Uralla business precinct as a Z-NET tourism destination and model for other regional communities.

It provides funding for up to 20 businesses to obtain a free energy review undertaken by the Z-NET team coordinated by Steve Griffith and Peter Low.

Uralla is moving towards becoming the first zero-net energy town in Australia, basically looking to be square in what it produces to what it uses.

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