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Clean energy toolkit launched to drive sustainable development

Joseph Guenzler -

In a year-long effort, the recently unveiled Community Energy Planning Toolkit presents a seven-step guide for First Nations communities.

The toolkit aims to facilitate the pursuit of community-specific, sustainable, and clean energy solutions.

Chantelle Johns, community coordinator for the development of the Marlinja Community Microgrid in the Northern Territory says the toolkit is a really valuable guide.

"The new toolkit has lots of really good information in it and all communities should have access to it as it will be really useful for them to decide if they're going to go the clean energy route, just like Marlinja has," she said.

"Like many First Nations communities, we wanted to generate the majority of our own electricity through sustainable sources."

"We began in renewables by re-powering our community centre with solar and batteries in 2020. Now we're building a microgrid for the whole community using solar and battery power, with the launch scheduled for April 2024."

Karrina Nolan, co-Chair of the First Nations Clean Energy Network says the opportunity of renewable energy should and can be available to all.

"The Toolkit will assist our communities to have discussions about clean energy futures that are shaped by the community for the benefit of the community."

"First Nations people want to develop clean energy projects in homes and communities and on Country."

"We want to drive community-owned renewable energy projects that deliver local secure jobs and affordable reliable electricity."

In Canada, Indigenous nations have become the second-largest owners of renewable energy assets, boasting numerous small to large-scale clean energy projects.

Karrina Nolan emphasises the need for universal access to clean energy.

"In Canada, Indigenous nations are now the second largest asset owners of renewable energy, with thousands of small to large scale clean energy projects," she said.

"It can happen here too. We believe it's more than time that all of our people have access to clean energy."

"First Nations planning, design, ownership and leadership is a competitive advantage for projects, and will finally bring affordable reliable electricity to our communities."

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