Daylesford community hears future of wind energy projects uncertain

March 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Investment in regional Australia from new wind energy projects is uncertain after the government announced the panel to review the Renewable Energy Target is to be made up primarily of big business representatives

Investment in regional Australia from new wind energy projects is uncertain after the government announced that the panel to review the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will be made up primarily of big business representatives.

The panel will be chaired by senior business figure Dick Warburton, and also includes former managing director of WA-owned coal and gas electricity generator Verve Energy, Shirley In’t Veld, and fossil fuel industry lobbyist Dr Brian Fisher.

“The RET has delivered jobs and economic stimulus to towns all across regional Australia through wind energy projects and solar panels on roofs,” Victorian Wind Alliance state co-ordinator Andrew Bray said.

Mr Bray said regional communities depended on the RET for crucial wind energy investment.

“So it’s disappointing there are no panel members from country Australia,” he said. “There is also a clear lack on this panel of anyone who genuinely understands the value of renewable energy.”

One of the tasks of the review will be to examine the cost of the Renewable Energy Target.

“With so much economic uncertainty around, this is no time to be pulling back on renewable energy,” Mr Bray said. “We’re looking forward to the review clearing up the actual cost of the RET, which is only around 2-3 per cent of an average bill.

“Wind energy has no fuel cost so it’s a safeguard against rising gas prices. It’s vitally important for consumers that the cost certainty of wind energy is retained by this review.

“Strengthening the RET will keep investment flowing into regional Australia, keep a lid on rising electricity prices and provide reliable clean energy for our electricity grid.

Hepburn Wind did not comment at the time of going to press.

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