The Loddon Mallee has the potential to produce five times the amount of power the region is consuming according to a new report.
Released on Thursday, the Loddon Mallee Renewable Energy Roadmap says the region could also deliver more than $1 billion in benefits while providing up to 3200 jobs.
Developed by the Department of Land Water and Planning and the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, the report gives an overview of the potential for the region while considering what obstacles must be overcome.
CVGA executive officer Rob Law said as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there are opportunities to grow the renewable energy industry in the Loddon Mallee.
"The key narrative, from our point of view, is our region could be exporting renewable energy within a couple of years time that meets our needs but also other areas' (needs)," he said.
"We could (generate) 500 per cent of renewable energy for the region by 2025. That means we would be exporting five times the amount of power we are consuming.
"In light of the current situation, while we are recovering form coronavirus, there is an opportunity to grow that industry in our region. The report shows if all planned (and approved) large-scale solar projects go ahead, it could unlock $1 billion and 3200 jobs."
Regional Renewable Energy Roadmaps for the Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Barwon South West regions were also released today.
"We're putting the power back in the hands of the community. This will create more local jobs across Victoria," energy, environment and climate change minister Lily D'Ambrosio said.
"Victoria's regional areas are leading the charge with renewable energy. There is so much momentum in Victoria's towns and regions, because they are seeing the benefits of this technology and the jobs it creates."
Mr Law said the transmission network between Victoria and New South Wales would need to be upgraded. Upgrading the grid infrastructure is one of the report's main priorities.
"The key part of the puzzle is ensuring the transmission network is upgraded," he said. "It is referred to as the 'Kerang link' between Victoria and New South Wales. Investment in that link could see large scale projects (develop).
"Based on (solar) farms with planning approval, we have 200 megawatts of large scale solar in that (Kerang link) pipeline and they need to connect to the link. (The farms' size) take four per cent of space in the transmission link corridor, which is less than 0.5 per cent of the area of the Loddon Mallee."
The report also prioritised maximising the potential for bio-energy. Mr Law said the Loddon Mallee's reputation as a farming region meant there were opportunities for the development of bio-energy.
"The bio energy opportunities are there as a large agricultural region," he said. "It's yet to be tapped (but involves) taking things like straw or even municipal organic waste and turning it into heat, steam or electricity.
"It's a controversial issue, there's probably good and bad versions of it for the environment but it's about making sure the right things are in place and getting the right technology for the right fit."
In developing the report the CVGA and DELWP held 25 workshops throughout the Loddon Mallee.
"There's a few different threads in our region," Mr Law said. "We have a lot of active community energy groups and Bendigo Sustainability Group has been a bit of leader in that space.
"Generally speaking, people really liked idea becoming self sufficient and using local energy. It's also interesting that, because of the virus, people interested in looking at how they use energy."