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Regional Development Australia ACT has been funded over the three-year period (2014-17) to establish and develop a Renewable Energy Industry Cluster in this ACT and surrounding NSW region.

We called the initiative SERREE – the South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence, and SERREE has developed as a highly successful regional-scale, Renewable Energy Industry Cluster, now with over 1000 engaged members representing the broad diversity of the industry, three tiers of government, research, education and community.

Included in the RDA ACT’s Funding Agreement to support the SERREE initiative with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the NSW and ACT Governments and key industry stakeholders, was a commitment to develop a replicable, regional-scale renewable energy industry cluster model. To achieve this, we documented our learnings through the establishment and development phases of SERREE, with a view to sharing these learnings with other regions.

Included in the model, is how we generated numerous regional economic development spin offs from the industry that fit well with the new RDA Charter – business growth and job opportunities, investment into the region. There is also potential to use the Industry Cluster model to develop other industry sectors - the comparative advantages of other regions.

It’s been a dynamic and worthwhile journey and there is much to share. The RDA ACT Executive Director presented the SERREE Model at the Australian Regional Development Conference (ARDC) held in Coffs Harbour in September 2017 where it won the ARDC runners-up Environment and Sustainability Award; also at the Sustainable Economic Growth in Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference held in Port August in October, and there are now a number of RDAs interested in engaging with the Model.

If you’re interested to know more, an Introduction to the SERREE Model provides a brief model overview. It also provides an opportunity for other regions to note their interest in hearing more about how they might use SERREE learnings to help develop a similarly collaborative, cluster based-approach that also appreciates the comparative advantages and challenges of each region.

We look forward to helping other regional leaders to map a pathway for developing their renewable energy sectors, and stimulating the resulting regional economic development outcomes.

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