Two major energy projects around Geelong reached milestones in July, highlighting the region’s role in Victoria’s transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy.
The renewable energy company Neoen revealed the Victorian Big Battery at Moorabool — which will be the biggest in Australia — had reached the halfway point of construction. On the same day, the Victorian Government released documents marking the beginning of an environmental investigation into Viva Energy’s proposed gas import terminal in Corio Bay.
Geelong Renewables Not Gas campaign spokesperson Greg Foyster said Geelong now faced an ‘energy crossroads’ which would be decided in the next twelve months.
“On the one hand, we have a big battery being built on Geelong’s doorstep, which will help the transition to renewable energy. On the other hand, we have a massive gas import terminal proposed for Corio Bay, which would slow down the transition and lock us into using a polluting fossil fuel for years,” said Mr Foyster.
“Geelong should be a renewable energy hub. We’ve got the infrastructure, skilled workforce and proud manufacturing heritage to position our city as the place for the rapidly growing clean energy industry.
“But there is a small window of opportunity and we have to make the right choices over the next year. Currently two large fossil fuel companies want to build a gas import terminal in Corio Bay and nearby off Avalon Beach, taking our city in the wrong direction.
“Fossil fuels like gas and coal are on the way out. Investing in gas infrastructure right now is a road to nowhere.
“Gas can be even worse for the climate than coal because it leaks into the atmosphere. This leaked gas traps more warmth, increasing our risks of severe heat, drought, bushfires and sea-level rise.
“We congratulate the Victorian Government on commissioning the big battery at Moorabool and urge them to reject proposals for gas import terminals in Geelong and support renewable energy jobs instead,” Mr Foyster said.
Geelong Renewables Not Gas is a campaign of Geelong Sustainability, with support from Environment Victoria and other environment groups.
About Geelong Sustainability
Geelong Sustainability is a dynamic and passionate community group focused on sharing information, building community resilience, advocating for the environment and supporting effective action for a low carbon future. For more information visit www.geelongsustainability.org.au