I’m a Surf Coast Shire councillor on a mission.

In mid-2013 I won the annual Municipal Association of Victoria travel fellowship to research an idea applicable to all 79 local government areas in Victoria. Because I’m a Green and passionate about the environment my idea was invariably going to have a green bent. I’ve been working on a community solar energy project at home and i realised that community energy was the key to helping reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. All residents – whether home owners or renters – as well as businesses should be able to tap into clean and affordable energy that is produced within their communities.

Community renewable projects are particularly big in the United States and Germany so those two countries will be where I focus my energy. I’m also heading to Denmark to check out wind and wave power as well as bio energy, and Spain to look at the solar thermal technology.

My goal is collect a tool box of ideas so communities in Victoria and beyond have access to the systems needed to establish community renewable options.

I’m also keen to look at other environmental issues along the way and will endeavour to collect information that may benefit grassroots organisations.