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An investigation of energy options for the remote Aboriginal community of Wirrimanu (Balgo Hills), Western Australia

Remmer, D. (1994) An investigation of energy options for the remote Aboriginal community of Wirrimanu (Balgo Hills), Western Australia. In: National Conference on Technology Transfer in Remote Communities, Murdoch University, 6 - 7 April, Perth, Western Australia

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Within Western Australia (W A), approximately 100 Aboriginal communities achieve their energy needs through the provision of a diesel power station operated and maintained by the SECW A Village Power Supply division. The cost of fuel for these remote, isolated areas is high and the potential for the cost effective use of renewables is great.

The community at Wirrimanu, 250km south of Halls Creek, in W A, approached our group expressing an interest in reducing their energy consumption. The diesel station which supplies the community's energy needs is large in remote terms, 600kW capacity, and fuel costs to the community are rising steadily towards a figure of $300,000 per year.

To understand the energy use patterns of the community and to achieve the successful implementation of energy saving strategies, a broad approach to the problem must be undertaken. A complete understanding of all facets of energy utilisation combined with a background knowledge of the interests and interactions of groups, both within the Aboriginal community and the European community, and the funding arrangements which influence energy supply, now and in the future, is needed in order to make valuable and valued recommendations.

This is the approach which the investigation described seeks to undertake. The success of the project rests on the ability of the Murdoch University Energy Research Institute (MUERI) to apply past experience to this unique and complex situation.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Institute for Environmental Science, Murdoch UNiversity
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