Throughout the world, community involvement in renewable energy across many scales and varieties of activity is increasingly common, driven by broader processes of technical, social, political and environmental change. Social movements play a fundamental role in this process of change, acting as dynamic sites of action and innovation in thinking and practice.
A range of actors involved in energy transitions are increasingly interested in ‘community renewable energy’ (CRE) for a multitude of reasons. Energy Policy has published articles exploring CRE since 2008. CRE has proven to be a diverse field: having emerged in different contexts and having been driven by a range of motivators, it encapsulates a diversity of technological, organisational, economic and social features. Developing a working definition and delineating what can legitimately be considered CRE is difficult given its varied forms.
This guide provides an overview of Victoria’s community energy sector and the regulatory context in which community energy project groups operate. It reviews the project development process from concept to implementation, exploring community engagement, technologies, financial considerations and business models that may be used to establish a successful project. It also provides links to organisations that offer additional information and support for community energy projects.