The RePower Alice Springs Community Solar Survey has received 816 responses, with the vast majority of residents expressing a desire for a significant increase in solar powered energy for Alice Springs.
The Solar Survey was conducted over a time period of 4 months and was only open to Alice Springs, Santa Teresa and Hermannsburg residents. It aimed to get a better picture of community feeling on the issue of increasing solar power in Alice Springs.
Key findings from the survey included:
1. The majority of respondents wanted a significant increase in solar energy for Alice Springs.
Only 13% of respondents agreed with the Northern Territory Government policy target of 50% renewable energy by 2030, while 76% of respondents wanted 70-100% of Alice Springs' power to be sourced from renewable sources. Less than 2% felt that there should be no increase from the current amount of solar energy generated.
2. Reducing carbon emissions was the main reason people wanted to see an increase in solar power
78% of survey respondents stated reducing carbon emissions was the main reason for pursuing a solar future, closely followed by reducing electricity bills. Promoting Alice Springs as a solar city ranked high in the responses by locals.
3. Lack of government political will (NT and Federal) was the key perceived barrier to increasing solar power in Alice Springs.
Despite the NT Government target of 50% renewables by 2030, 60% of respondents perceived lack of NT Government political will as the key barrier to increasing solar power in Alice Springs. Lack of Federal government political will and the influence of the fossil fuel industry were also rated highly as barriers.
“RePower Alice Springs is a volunteer community group with the vision of 100% renewable energy for Alice Springs by 2030. With more than 300 sunny days a year and an isolated electrical grid, it is entirely possible for Alice Springs to be powered by solar energy and RePower Alice Springs is committed to working with the NT Government and other stakeholders to bring about this vision,” said Harshini Bartlett, RePower Alice Springs spokesperson.
“816 responses to the survey is a fantastic result and shows the level of community interest in solar power. It affirms that the community believes we need to aim much higher in our aspirations for solar powered energy for Alice Springs, with one of the main reasons being to mitigate climate change,” said Harshini Bartlett.
“These results reaffirms RePower Alice Springs commitment to the vision of 100% solar energy by 2030, and we encourage any community members who would like to be part of a positive, proactive campaign to join RePower and work with us to help realise this vision,” Harshini Bartlett said.