A rural agricultural-sustainable energy community model and its application to Felton Valley, Australia

Berrill, T. and Reardon-Smith, K. and McCreath, R. and Mushtaq, S. and Bundschuh, J. (2013) A rural agricultural-sustainable energy community model and its application to Felton Valley, Australia. In: 5th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE 2013), 1-4 Jul 2013, Pretoria, South Africa.

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Abstract

Energy and food security require a delicate balance which should not threaten or undermine community prosperity. Where it is proposed to derive energy from conventional fossil fuel resources (such as coal, shale oil, natural gas, coal seam gas) located in established rural areas, and particularly where these areas are used for productive agricultural purposes, there are often both intense community concern as well as broader questions regarding the relative social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of different land uses and, increasingly, different energy sources. The advent of mainstream renewable energy technologies means that alternative energy options may provide a viable alternative, allowing energy demand to be met without compromising existing land uses. We demonstrate how such a Sustainable Energy Rural Model can be designed to achieve a balance between the competing social goals of energy supply, agricultural production, environmental integrity and social well-being, and apply it to the Felton Valley, a highly productive and resilient farming community in eastern Australia.
Research into available wind and solar resources found that Felton Valley has a number of attributes that indicate its suitability for the development of an integrated renewable energy precinct which would complement, rather than displace, existing agricultural enterprises. Modelling results suggest a potential combined annual renewable energy output from integrated wind and solar resources of 1,287 GWh/yr from peak installed capacity of 713 MW, sufficient to supply the electrical energy needs of about 160,000 homes, in combination with total biomass food production of 31,000 tonnes per annum or 146 GWh/yr of human food energy. The portfolio of renewable energy options will not only provide energy source diversity but also ensures long-term food security and regional stability.
The Felton Valley model provides an example of community-led energy transformation and has potential as a pilot project for the development of smart distributed grids that would negate the need for further expansion of coal mining and coal fired power stations.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. ICAE 2013 - International Conference on Applied Energy. Paper 644.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 02:54
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2014 00:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: renewable energy resources; energy and food security; community-led energy transformation; smart distributed grid
Fields of Research : 12 Built Environment and Design > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120501 Community Planning
12 Built Environment and Design > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850599 Renewable Energy not elsewhere classified
B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8506 Energy Storage, Distribution and Supply > 850699 Energy Storage, Distribution and Supply not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24049

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