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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

2 March 2005

Renewable energy hits the road


A trailer showcasing renewable energy technologies was launched in Brisbane today as part of the Queensland Sustainable Energy Roadshow.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the trailer, named Solar Tropical, was fitted out with solar panels, a small-scale wind turbine, battery banks, a solar hot water panel, solar water pumps and solar and wind monitoring tools. It would tour regional Queensland until June.

"Solar Tropical will provide Queenslanders with a hands-on experience of renewable energy technologies," Senator Campbell said.

"Teachers, tradesmen, industry representatives and anyone else who is interested will be able to come and see how the latest renewable energy technology works and how it could benefit them.

"This is a great chance for people to experience renewable energy technology and ask questions about it.

"Experts demonstrating the technology on the trailers will also run seminars and workshops to further raise awareness and understanding of Queensland's sustainable energy potential."

Solar Tropical is the first of three renewable energy training trailers to be rolled out as part of the Australian Government's Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme.

The Australian Government is funding the Queensland Sustainable Energy Industry Development Group with $340,000 for four renewable energy training and education projects throughout regional and remote Queensland.

Other projects funded include short courses in renewable energy for tradespeople and professionals, school and community workshops and a national network of TAFE trainers in renewable energy.

The Queensland Sustainable Energy Roadshow will tour regional Queensland between March and June, ending in Cairns.

The Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme is a $206 million Australian Government initiative, which aims to increase the uptake of renewable energy generation technologies in remote areas of Australia and to displace the use of diesel fuel for electricity generation.

For more information about the trailer contact Wendy Miller, 0428 734 316.
For more information about the Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme, visit: www.greenhouse.gov.au/renewable/rrpgp

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434


Backgrounder

Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme

Many people, businesses and towns in remote locations rely on diesel generators for the provision of electricity. The Australian Greenhouse Office estimates that about 700 million litres of diesel are consumed each year in Australia for the generation of electricity in remote areas. Due to the high costs of maintaining and fuelling diesel generators, many remote households make do with electricity only being available for 8 to 12 hours a day. Renewable power generation (usually photovoltaic panels and wind turbines), combined with inverters and batteries, can provide access to affordable 24-hour power.

The aim of the Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme is to displace the use of fossil fuel used for electricity generation by increasing the uptake of renewable generation technologies in remote locations, usually without access to the main electricity grid. Funding for the Programme is expected to be about $206 million and is based on the relevant diesel fuel excise paid by remote public power generators in the financial years 2000-01 to 2003-04. To date, Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme projects, sub-programs and industry support activities worth more than $128 million have been approved.

The Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme is managed by the Australian Greenhouse Office within the Department of the Environment and Heritage and is delivered by State Government agencies.

Commonwealth of Australia