This article apperared in the Moyne Gazette on Moyne Gazette 17 Nov 2011. Journalist is EVERARD HIMMELREICH
Pacific Hydro’s investment end
State law forces interstate move
LEADING Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro is unlikely to invest further in the south-west despite the recent passing ofthe Clean Energy Future Package through the Senate.
Pacific Hydro Australia general manager Lane Crockett said Victorian legislation that imposed restrictions on the development of wind farms within two kilometres of a dwelling made it unlikely the company would develop any further wind farms in Victoria.
Pacific Hydro has wind farms at Codrington and Yambuk as well as others near Portland.
Speaking on the recent passing of the Clean Energy Future Package through the Senate, Mr Crockett said while the bill might not encourage more investment by his company in Victoria, it would boost overall investment in clean energy projects.
“The passage of these bills and the legislating of a carbon price in Australia will fundamentally change the policy landscape and drive a transition towards cleaner energy,” Mr Crockett said.
“The shift will drive billions of dollars in investment, tens of thousands of jobs throughout regional and rural Australia and ensure we deliver on environmental outcomes.”
Mr Crockett said the price on carbon established through the clean energy future legislation demonstrated the important role renewable energy would play in the future.
He said this was complemented by the role of the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target and the supportive investment delivered through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. “This is a significant step towards a level playing field for clean energy investment. “The external costs of fossil fuel power generation are finally starting to be accounted for.”
Pacific Hydro is poised to develop around $2 billion worth of projects across Australia.
“This new legislation provides us with an increased level of certainty that we and our investors need to develop Australian clean energy projects,” Mr Crockett said. “We will now be able to increase investment here in Australia as we have in Brazil and Chile where they have stable renewable energy policies which provide confidence to investors,” Mr Crockett said. “We look forward to operating in an Australian economy that rewards companies and businesses for investing in a clean energy future.
“The legislative package provides a comprehensive mix of a long-term target, carbon pricing, energy efficiency, renewable energy support and action on the land and will bring many opportunities to business, farmers and households.” “Reversing this important step will only lead to investor uncertainty and adverse impacts for consumers through further stalling energy investment.” Mr Crockett said.