Environs Kimberley has welcomed the $19 million clean energy investment announced by the Australian and Western Australian governments, including support for the Kimberley Communities Solar Saver program.
“We welcome this announcement by the State Minister for Energy Bill Johnston and Commonwealth Minister for Energy Chris Bowen of support for clean energy in remote communities,” Environ Kimberley Director of Strategy Martin Pritchard said.
According to the group, Kimberley’s warming climate, caused by using fossil fuels, poses a major threat to people’s health and the ecosystem, and cheaper renewable energy is critical for community health.
“There is a further opportunity to transition to clean energy much more quickly by replacing fossil-fuel burning with renewable energy. Horizon Power has already said that the Broome gas-fired power station can operate on 80% renewable energy. This would provide jobs, greatly reduce emissions, and be cheaper than to keep running on fossil gas,” Pritchard added.
He noted that Broome’s 80% renewable energy is superior to Buru Energy’s proposed gas field near the Martuwarra Fitzroy River, which could lead to industrialisation in West Kimberley and a significant increase in methane and carbon pollution.
“What we need now is for the WA Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston, to commit to the change before the current gas contract runs out in 2027,” he added.