Victoria’s wind energy growth stunted

October 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News


NEW wind energy forecasts by the Australian Energy Market Operator says Victoria’s capacity should lift five-fold by the end of the decade.

In the report, Integrating Renewable Energy – Wind Energy Integration Report, the AEMO forecasts 4090 megawatts of new wind energy capacity in the state by 2020. The increase would lift the state’s installed wind energy capacity from 884MW in 2013 to 4974MW in 2020.
 
But Friends of the Earth spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said reaching the forecast was not assured.

“AEMO’s forecast is welcomed news for those who understand how wind farms benefit regional Victoria, yet the anti-wind farm laws imposed by former Premier Ted Baillieu will make it difficult to meet,” Mr Ewbank said.  

“Mr Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws have held back the wind energy sector for over two years.

“A mere eight turbines have been approved since the Coalition took office.”

Mr Ewbank said even projects that meet the world’s strictest wind farm planning laws, such as the Cherry Tree Range proposal, have been stalled.

“Premier Denis Napthine can show political leadership and restore fair laws for wind farms in Victoria. To date, he’s shown little interest in dealing with his predecessor’s policy failure,” he said.

But the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy said five wind energy facilities, with a combined total of around 200 turbines began construction under the Coalition in March last year.

The wind energy facilities include Hawkesdale, Ryan Corner, Mount Gellibrand, Woolsthorpe and Salt Creek.

Mr Guy said the five facilities will have a combined capacity of over 400MW, and represent more than $400 million of investment, and hundreds of construction jobs in Victoria’s south west region.

 

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