MASG Moving into the Future:
Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2025
To fulfill our goal of Zero Net Emissions by 2025 in the shire, our vision has defined the priorities for MASG projects as:
1. Renewable Energy (Community Scale)
2. Energy Efficiency
3. Waste Reduction
MASG projects have been designed to move towards this goal, and MASG will also work to support partners and other organisations to coordinate efforts to achieve a Zero Net Emissions Target for the Shire.
MASG Community Renewables projects include:
- Baringhup Renewable Resource Mapping
- Waste to Energy Precinct Mapping
- Community Financing Option Development (Institutional & Commercial Solar)
- Other precinct mapping
The results from these could ultimately see us with:
- Bio-energy generation from waste
- Cooperative Bio Char generation facilities close to farming precincts
- Community financed large solar arrays on public and commercial premises
- A major generation facility, such as a 12 – 20 MW Solar Farm or Wind Farm
- A Community Owned Tree Plot. This will offset the emissions we cannot realistically remove directly.
Under Energy Efficiency, we saw the continuation of programs such as:
- Sustainability House Tours – Arranging energy efficient homes to be open to the public to show the use of resources such as the sun, wind and water in the built environment, offsetting the traditional power supply wherever possible.
- Comfy Homes – A register of tradespeople, engineers, architects, etc. who can help members in all aspects of sustainable living.
- MASG are participating in programs to assist householders and businesses improve their energy efficiency in cooperation with the Enviroshop.
- Offering assistance, consultation and referrals across Sustainable Design, Energy Ratings and Low Carbon Lifestyles.
Under Waste, with support from council and sponsors, we saw continuation of programs such as:
- Recycling – Safe collection and disposal of batteries and globes
- Wasteless – MASG have mapped business waste in Castlemaine, Maldon, Newstead and Taradale that can be re-purposed. For instance, business wastes may provide reuse opportunities to individuals, community groups and schools.
- Wash Against Waste Trailer – A trailer designed with solar panels for water heating and loaded with cutlery and crockery, used at functions to remove the need of disposable plastic cups and plates and reducing waste.
MASG has advocacy and community engagement platforms that aim to support and build on the momentum for more sustainable policies and programs from all levels of government and industry.
We focus on those policies and programs that take action on climate change and support renewable energy generation in Australia.
We maintain our links to organisations within and outside the shire to best enable us to respond to opportunities to inspire positive change in the local and wider community and the body politic.
MASG hosts events engaging the wider community such as Climate Action Rallies, Sustainability Drinks, and participate with partners in events and forums such as the Ride2Work Breakfast, The Tim Flannery Event, Local Lives – Global Matters, etc.
We maintain our links to organisations within and outside the shire to best enable us to work together to inspire change within the local and wider community and the body politic.
In setting the goal, and MASG mission of a Zero Net Emissions by 2025 Target for Mount Alexander Shire, we reviewed MASG acknowledges the need to work with partner organisations and their programs, businesses, industry and government to achieve this.
MASG programs in Community Scale Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Waste reduction are steps towards this target.
The Program for Zero Net Emissions for the Shire
MASG believes this program must involve actions throughout the community with a view to:
Eliminate or Reducing Demand on the Electricity Grid:
- Energy Efficiency programs, some partnering with Enviro Shop.
- Work towards no daytime demands on the grid:
- Support of Household Rooftop Solar PV programs of partners such as not for profits MASH and commercial operators, Enviroshop, Steve Breeney, etc.
- Support of Commercial Rooftop Solar programs of partners (as above).
- MASG Community Renewables programs whereby a funding model is offered to those sites unable for organizational budgetary reasons to finance Solar PV.
- MASG rural energy resource mapping projects to provide excess energy to support the community’s facilities.
- Support of programs for micro-hydro to offset farm demands.
- Battery storage programs to reduce night time and winter demands on the grid through partners.
- Promote the move away for household and industry gas use.
- Advocate for improved feed in tariffs to better reward export to grid.
Eliminate or Reducing Fuel use in Transport. MASG can provide leadership with its programs and act to educate more widely:
- Reduce travel in delivery of goods by supporting programs promoting local production.
- Reducing travel in disposing of waste by industry and householders.
- Encourage Car Pooling.
- Encourage electric public transport (bus & train).
- Encourage bio-diesel and electric vehicle and machinery use for industry and farm.
- Encourage electric vehicle for private use.
- MASG to initiate community owned and operated local Bio-diesel production.
- Promote bicycle use.
Eliminate GHG emissions generated from waste. MASG can provide leadership with its programs and act to educate more widely:
- Reduce waste by recycling
- Reduce waste by education
- Reduce waste by eliminating use of plastic bags
- Reduce waste by eliminating non bio-degradable wipes and similar products.
- MASG to initiate community owned and operated local Bio-char production, consuming farm and other rural waste.
Generate Clean Energy to the grid by community owned projects:
- Advocate for Virtual Net Metering or other regulatory changes to allow export of electricity to reflect only the actual impact on the grid.
- MASG Community Renewables Waste to Energy project will generate and provide power to the grid as well as providing reductions in energy demand, waste reduction and transport. (1 to 2MW)
- Solar Farm (or Wind) farm to generate (12 – 20MW)
- Hydro generation on Cairn Curran is possibility as a community project and this has been explored in initial discussions
- Promote private investment in renewable energy resources
Off-setting demands not easily displaced directly in the shire:
- MASG to look to Community owned and operated Tree Lots
- Promote purchase of carbon credits facilities to offset one off events, trips, etc.
- Promote private investment in remote renewable energy resources
- Consider a community investment directly in a remote wind or solar farm
What MASG looks like in 2015:
MASG 2015 Vision Statement
- To significantly reduce the region’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
- To target zero net emissions by 2025 in the Mt Alexander Shire.
- To encourage and support other organisations and businesses to contribute to the shire reaching this target.
- To protect, and where necessary, enhance the built environment.
- To help build and nurture a community in which relationships, social justice and creativity are highly valued.
- To have projects which are strongly supported by the local community.
- To have projects which optimise the use of local resources.
- To have financial, social and sustainability benefits realised in the local community and its economy.
MASG 2015 Strategy to Achieve this Vision
- MASG has defined its primary focus as renewable energy as this seems the best of way reducing emissions quickly, enabling the shire to achieve its target.
- MASG, through its Community Renewables, is targeting large projects where significant emission reductions can be achieved.
- MASG can make use of its legal entity structure, to initiate and finance projects to achieve this.
- MASG may create and sit on the board of commercial entities thus created, where these have the primary aim of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
- MASG will not want to compete with local businesses who are working to meet similar goals, but rather will support them.
- MASG will support other not for profit organisations who are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through any means, including waste reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.
- MASG will encourage projects in Energy Efficiency and Waste Reduction, and where funding can be found, will provide the management of programs to execute these.
- MASG funding will be achieved through membership, local donations, local events, fee earning programs, sponsorships, e News advertising, philanthropic funding and government funding of projects.
- MASG will only auspice other organisations programs where: MASG is an active partner in the project, The project fits within the MASG Vision, The project aims are seen as taking positive action by the community, The project covers the administrative costs incurred.
Engaging with the Members and Community
- We plan quarterly Members Forums to engage with members and supporters.
- We run fund raising events which serve to engage with supporters including: the Rhythms for Renewables, a continuing schedule of which is being developed.
- We run Sustainability Drinks to provide information and get feedback from supporters.
- Our e-News has more than 1000 subscribers and is an important communication tool within the community.
- The MASG Website acts as a source of information for members and community alike and also serves to provide a link to what is happening in the community.
- We have an MOU Partnership with the Mt Alexander Shire Council enabling us access to council officers and a seat at the table to discuss and influence decisions being made by the council with regard to the environment. It also ensures access to council facilities for meetings and functions.
- Our Membership base is currently 300 members and enthusiastic supporters and volunteers. We would like to see this number grow to as many as 500 in the coming year.