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Australia’s First Citizen-Owned Solar Thermal Plant Campaign Raises $34,000

Originally published on Solar Love.

australiaThis is an update on a previous Solar Love article about the Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc. (CORENA). The organization has a campaign to raise $5 million dollars by having individual citizens make small donations in order to finance the construction of a community solar power system. If 50,000 people donated $100, they would reach their target. Considering that millions of people live in Australia and $100 is a common donation amount for charity, it is not an unreasonable campaign.

Australia has plenty of sunshine, so solar power can do well there, but the political climate has not been as favorable.

So, if a citizen-backed solar power campaign could be successful, it would bypass entrenched, negative politics. Solar power makes much more sense today than using fossil fuels.

To date, the campaign has raised $34,189, which is well short of the $5 million, but that money can still be used for smaller solar power installations. On CORENA’s Facebook page, the crew behind the idea recently wrote: “So far the public has chipped in $34,000 towards Australia’s first citizen-owned solar thermal plant. For the Quick Win community solar projects, Project 3 (in Vic) is about to be installed, we already have $1,300 towards Project 4 (in SA), and a 5th project (in WA) is in the pipeline. Thanks for being part of it in 2014!”

You can follow them there to keep an eye out for developments, or go their own site. One thing about this solar power campaign is that it is a citizen movement. People who care about getting clean, renewable power that does not spew air pollution everywhere and doesn’t contribute to climate change can do something about it by investing in solar power.

Politicians talk about change before every election, and once elected may do nothing to improve society. When in office, they may try to block change, such as in the case of Australia, where solar power is not being supported properly.

Government bureaucracies often use rules from the past to guide them in the present and into the future, which ensures that nothing, or very little, changes.

Another great thing about the CORENA campaign is that everyday citizens are contributing money that will be used to create jobs for other Australians. In other words, no one has to wait for a government agency or politicians to use their tax money for something constructive.

Australia is the sunniest continent on Earth. It has huge solar potential.

The CORENA solar power campaign is not a “little” project or a “nice” thing to do — it is a movement to replace fossil fuels with a clean, renewable and very abundant source of natural power.

Image Credit: JJ Harrison, Wiki Commons

Reprinted with permission.

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