1000 unbuilt turbines at risk

According to one comment on this blog, we should worry about Victoria’s anti-wind laws “only when the over 1000 turbines that have already been approved are constructed.”

There are reasons why they aren’t being constructed, of course: the price of the Renewable Energy Certificates that generators sell is depressed to the extent that it’s not seen as profitable to build the wind farms, currently.

Unfortunately this means that increasingly, already-approved wind farm plans can be overturned and forced to re-apply under the new laws.

The following is from Stock & Land, October 3:

THE backers of several major wind farms in Victoria will have to start work on projects in tough financial circumstances or face losing their planning permits.

Wind farm development has stalled recently, largely due to the low renew­able energy certificate (REC) price. Wind farm operators rely on selling RECs to utilities and big energy users who need them to meet legal requirements to buy low-emissions power, reports The Australian Financial Review.

At the same time, the Victorian government has brought in tough planning rules for wind farms. As part of the transition to the new rules, the government has told operators holding expiring permits that they must start work by March next year or they will have to reapply under the new regime.

(. . . )

“The government constantly says how over 1000 turbines already have permit approval, but a third of those could expire in the next six months and then half of the rest in the year after that,” Greens leader Greg Barber said. “By the time the next election rolls around, they will have all but wiped out the industry.”

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