The Clean Energy Council was established in September 2007 as Australia’s new peak body for the renewable energy, energy efficiency and low greenhouse gas emission generation industry and comprises over 400 member businesses.
Unifying the BCSE and Auswind is a powerful statement that reinforces our industry’s professionalism and ability to deliver solutions to Australia’s future energy needs. It strengthens representation of the clean energy industry and improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation of both the previous associations.
The merge has come at a defining moment in the history of the clean energy sector in Australia – on the eve of the federal election, we are ready to meet the challenges of climate change.
The core business of the Clean Energy Council will be advocating policies and initiatives that promote the growth of the Australian clean energy sector. Many of the supply and demand side technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions rely on government policies to correct market failure. The Clean Energy Council will work to develop productive and positive relationships with all governments to assist in the formation of proactive policies, and to guard against the development and introduction of policies that impede the growth of the industry.Article continues below…
The basis for industry unification
Public attitude towards greenhouse emissions and climate change – and importantly, the need to act to reduce the impact of these – is shifting rapidly.
Before the Clean Energy Council was established the Australian clean energy industry had been represented by a number of industry associations. Due to this overlapping representation, the industry had not always been represented as effectively as it could have: governments and other stakeholders could receive mixed messages, as a result of inconsistent lobbying and information provision, and a lack of united representation can undermine individual efforts to deploy energy efficiency, renewable energy and low emission generation projects.
Incumbent energy generation technologies and energy retailers are represented by single, powerful industry associations. With growing community awareness of the clean energy sector, and as a developing player in the overall energy industry, clean energy needed successful, unified representation to government and other stakeholders on issues important to the industry.
It’s clear that single association representation around common interests is the best way to serve an industry and its shared causes. In the case of the clean energy industry, a single powerful voice for the sustainable energy industry will secure the clean energy technologies of members as a key component of the national response to climate change, establish policies which address growth in greenhouse gas emissions, and set us on track for a world in which the worst impacts of climate change are avoided.
In summary, the key benefits of unification are to:
- Strengthen the industry’s position and influence; - Improve the consistency of messages and advocacy capacity; - Ensure a consistent message is effectively advocated; and, - Build on the existing associations’ capacity, skills and knowledge. - The first two benefits relate to improving the effectiveness of the efforts of the BCSE and Auswind as they were. By improving the influence of the industry in the public policy debate, the industry will be better placed to develop projects and products in response to changes in government policy.
The second two benefits relate to improving the efficiency of the efforts previously undertaken by the BCSE and Auswind. By minimising duplication, resources can be used to enhance the promotion of the industry and policies designed to support clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
By bringing the BCSE and Auswind together, members also gain better value from their membership fees. A key focus in the unification process is squarely on expanding the services previously offered to members through reduced duplication of effort.
And greater membership diversity will bring enhanced opportunities for networking and establishing innovative business practices and ideas. Conferences and other events will continue to be held each year to provide access to up to date information on industry developments and policies and to meet and network with major industry players in an informal and collegiate environment.
The principal objective of the Clean Energy Council is to increase the deployment of energy technologies and practices which contribute toward a sustainable greenhouse gas emissions profile for Australia.
This principal objective is backed by a range of complimentary aims:
- To develop appropriate policies and effectively advocate them to governments and other stakeholders to achieve the principal objective; - To educate, promote and inform stakeholders and the community about sustainable energy technologies and practices; - To promote and facilitate research and development of sustainable energy; - To encourage best practice sustainable energy industry commercial practices among members; and, - To collectively advance the commercial interests of sustainable energy industry members.
The case for the unifying the BCSE and Auswind is clear. Members are already enjoying the benefits amalgamating the associations into the Clean Energy Council has provided and will continue to do so for many years to come.