Talented minds discuss renewable future

GREAT MINDS: Professor James Goodman (third from left) and Professor Linda Connor (fifth from right) will be discussing the renewable energy boom in Port Augusta. Photo - supplied.
GREAT MINDS: Professor James Goodman (third from left) and Professor Linda Connor (fifth from right) will be discussing the renewable energy boom in Port Augusta. Photo - supplied.

A group of accomplished academics will be hosting a forum focusing on renewable energy in the Upper Spencer Gulf in Port Augusta next week.

It's part of a four-day field trip of the region that nine researchers from a range of disciplines are undertaking, including Port Augusta local, Decarbonising Electricity Project Researcher Lisa Lumsden.

The forum will focus on the impact of the renewable energy boom in the Spencer Gulf, and in particular Port Augusta, on regional social and economic disadvantage in the region.

"We have conducted research across the full spectrum of stakeholders and will be presenting our findings on Monday night, which is sure to spark some further conversations," Ms Lumsden said.

"The visiting research team are keen to have informal discussions with the community about their views and experiences, given the research findings that will be presented, and welcome people to come along to the forum."

A total of eight accomplished academics from Sydney will be attending, while members of the team from Germany and India will be zooming in to the meeting.

"This presents a great opportunity for the local community to access their vast knowledge relating to renewable energy transition both in Australia as well as internationally," Ms Lumsden said.

Professor James Goodman from the Climate Justice Research Centre UTS said there needed to be strong public support for a rollout of renewable energy, and the researcers would be focusing on how companies looked to build that support.

"Port Augusta is being looked at as an example of what can happen when the weather conditions are right for generating renewable energy and there's a pre-existing industrial framework," he said.

"This energy transition was previously seen as a burden because it was more costly and the government would avoid going down that road - now it's the complete opposite because there's a lot of hype around it.

"This is now seen as a benefit and something that could be a necessity."

Light supper will be provided at the forum, RSVP's to 0439 883 180 are necessary for catering and COVID capacity reasons.

The forum will be held at the Central Augusta Football Club starting at 6pm on Monday, June 21.