Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia

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= "Our funding mechanisms enable all of us who want a rapid transition to renewable energy to chip in and collectively help pay for practical renewable energy projects".

URL = http://corenafund.org.au/

Full name: CORENA - Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc.


Description

"CORENA uses a simple donation-based revolving fund model to pay for practical renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Contributors are people who wish to 'do something' about climate change by reducing carbon emissions for the sake of the common good.

CORENA is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers. It was incorporated in South Australia in April 2013, but its operations and membership are Australia-wide.

All money donated to projects is used for practical projects that reduce carbon emissions, and all income coming back into CORENA's revolving funds from completed projects is used to help pay for subsequent projects. Contributors choose to support either the current Quick Win project or the Big Win project.

Quick Win project funds are used to give interest-free loans to non-profit community organisations to pay for solar installations and/or energy efficiency measures at their premises. The recipient organisation makes regular loan repayments that fall within the resultant savings on their energy bills, and these repayments help fund subsequent Quick Win projects.

These loans mean that community-serving organisations on tight budgets can implement projects that cost them nothing. The projects 'pay for themselves' in around five years, after which the organisation will have the benefit of their lower power bills and can spend more of their limited funds on the core services they provide.

Quick Win projects can be anywhere in Australia. The first, completed in November 2013, was a 7kW solar PV system for Tulgeen Disability Services in Bega, NSW. The second, completed in June 2014, was a 10kW solar PV system and energy efficient LED lights for the Gawler Community House in South Australia. The third project, currently in progress, is for a non-profit Montessori school in Beechworth, Victoria.

The initial aim of CORENA's Big Win projects is to build a citizen-funded 50MW solar thermal plant with storage. If the entire $300 million (approximate) price tag is sourced from donations from the public, there will be no interest fees and no dividends to be paid to investors, and there'll be no fuel costs. All income from electricity sales, after operating costs, will be used to help pay for subsequent utility-scale renewable energy projects.

The first Big Win project could be funded by 720,000 people each contributing $8 per week for one year, or equivalent. The completed projects will be owned by 'the people' and operated for the common good. CORENA only operates in Australia, but its simple funding model can be replicated easily for use anywhere."


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