Community energy in Brisbane: what can we learn from international experiences?

Carlos Lozano • 26 February 2022

The energy transition is key to cutting global emissions. The aggregation of interconnected social, cultural, political, climate, and demographic crises have pushed forward the community-driven renewable energy. Power to people now!! It's one common motto driving the energy transition across Europe and the US and is rapidly growing in Australia.

Community-owned energy encompasses projects related to the renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage based on the decentralization of energy and with people as the protagonists of this energy change. By putting energy in the hands of people and communities, community energy represents a practical way out of current crises. It provides opportunities to rebuild the energy system, allowing people to shape the energy landscape, creating green jobs and improving energy security, alongside other benefits.

However, the pace of developing community energy projects has not been the same worldwide. Queensland is less progressive in the community energy movement than other countries and Australian states. A one-semester research project was undertaken at the University of Queensland to draw lessons for Queensland from international experiences in community energy. Here, a summary of findings is presented to draw lessons from community energy trajectories in the UK and Germany.