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Ferguson J.,Cooperative Research Center for Remote Economic Participation
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2012

This paper proposes a broad overview of possible responses to the challenges posed by rangelands to promote discussion on a sustainable future for these vast regions. Rangelands Australia, an organisational unit of the University of Queensland, which promotes and delivers post graduate courses in rangeland management, assesses these challenges as managing the landscapes sustainably; supporting viability for pastoralists, tourism operators and miners; and maintaining benefits to our communities. It describes the desirable triple bottom line as profitable enterprises, healthy landscapes and vibrant communities. While there may be general agreement on these challenges and objectives, how we as a nation and we as land managers specifically meet them is the subject of intense debate. What is clear is that we can no longer maintain a 'business-as-usual' approach. We are all familiar with the effects of salinity and erosion and the impacts of feral animals and weed species. We understand the need for business in the rangelands to think smart about the environment, about markets and about communities and get smart or go under. We know that we have to do things differently or our rangeland communities will wither away as businesses fail and young people leave the bush due to lack of meaningful opportunity where they have grown up. The experiences and observations of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre and the new Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation complement and bring together existing strands of activity across jurisdictions and disciplines. This synthesis of understanding offers some insights in how to conceptualise the future and act on the vision for a sustainable future for these extensive areas. © Australian Rangeland Society 2012.

Havas L.,Charles Darwin University | Havas L.,Cooperative Research Center for Remote Economic Participation | Ballweg J.,Charles Darwin University | Penna C.,Alice Solar City | And 4 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2015

The Australian government funded a national Solar City program (2008-2013) to support communities to increase adoption of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technology. One community was Alice Springs, a town with about 9000 households in the geographic centre of Australia. The programme offered a package of support: free energy audits, discounts for the purchase of renewable energy technology and energy efficiency measures, and ongoing information. Households that adopted solar hot water and photovoltaic systems reduced their electricity usage immediately after adoption by 10% and 34% respectively, and this was maintained in the long term. A small rebound effect of 15% was observed in the photovoltaic adopters. It was observed that, on average, households that adopted only energy efficiency measures did not have a significant reduction in their electricity usage over the long term. However, consistent with expectations, this study did show that there was a significant correlation between the number of energy efficiency measures adopted and the greatest household reduction in electricity usage. These contrary results indicate that there are additional factors involved. The connection between the effective use of measures, coincident behavioural change or increased energy awareness and greater energy reduction is discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Havas L.,Charles Darwin University | Havas L.,Cooperative Research Center for Remote Economic Participation | Ballweg J.,Charles Darwin University | Penna C.,Alice Solar City | And 2 more authors.
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2015

Governments in developed economies are making considerable investments in energy efficiency technologies and encouraging residential households to conserve energy. A major programme in Australia has invested A$280 million to encourage residential households to become more energy aware and make additional investment in energy efficiency measures. This paper examines the adoption of energy efficiency measures by residential households participating in this programme in a geographically remote Australian town. It uses data collected by the programme developers. It examines the financial return of the investment in terms of payback period and internal rate of return. It then discusses the financial return with respect to adoption of a range of products offered by the programme. Results show that adoption of energy efficiency measures by households was not solely guided by rational economic-maximising principles. For example, some frequently adopted measures had negative financial effectiveness. A range of important determining factors are discussed, and the consequent impact this has for analysis of the effectiveness of incentive programmes. Finally, this paper proposes considerations for future programmes to more effectively measure and target efficient adoption of energy efficient measures, both in remote and non-remote residential settings. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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