Anti-wind laws may add billions to energy bills

The following news item is from the ABC. An interview on this topic with Kobad Bhavnagri and several wind developers is also on the ABC website here and is entitled “Concerns new guidelines are forcing wind farms out of Victoria”.

Wind farm rules may lead to higher power prices

By Anthony Stewart, Feb 17 2012

An economist is warning the Victorian Government’s restrictive wind farm planning guidelines could increase electricity bills by up to $2 billion over the next decade.

The State Government introduced new planning rules in August last year that banned the construction of wind farms in much of the state and gave households the power to veto turbines within two kilometres of their homes.

In order to meet its 20 per cent emissions reductions target the State Government will need to roll out extensive new renewable energy projects over the next decade.

Modelling by Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts the decision could force up the price of electricity for Victorians by up to $2 billion over the next decade.

Energy analyst, Kobad Bhavnagri, says wind power is the cheapest and most reliable way to reach emission reduction targets.

“If you are not building the most economical plants, you have to build more expensive plants instead, and in the end consumers are the ones that will have to pay the price,” he said.

No new wind energy projects have been announced since the rules were introduced.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy did not respond the the ABC’s request for comment.

3 thoughts on “Anti-wind laws may add billions to energy bills

  1. The Clean Energy Council has said that up to $3 billion investment in wind energy projects will be lost as a result of the Baillieu government’s restrictive changes to siting regulations for wind farms. This also means many jobs that will not be created at a time when industrial jobs are being rapidly lost in Victoria. This is appalling but would Labor turn it around if re-elected. I have my doubts.

    1. Pacific Hydro is moving to other states to develop wind farms because they know it will be impossible to obtain acceptance for new wind projects in Victoria thanks to the overly restrictive guidelines. It’s interesting that any individual can oppose a single project yet that same individual cannot oppose any coal mine expansion right on their boundary. Meanwhile in New South Wales, the government wants a review of three existing wind farms which will cost a great deal of money. Remember too that New South Wales is financially destitute. There is no doubt the conservative side of politics is driven by ideology rather than good science.

      Meanwhile we are losing jobs in many industries but around the world wind farms are lauded as excellent providers of short and long term jobs and help in various industries survive and thrive, and then of course there are the lost investment dollars that need to be considered. Next time you hear any Conservative state government complaining about finances, marvel at their hypocrisy.

  2. Jobs in indeed:

    “Large scale wind farm developments provide a new market opportunity for Australian manufacturers and fabricators and can deliver economic and employment benefits for regional areas and suppliers and contractors to the sector. With this in mind, BlueScope Steel supports the development of the sector.” Bluescope submission to the Senate.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/submissions.htm

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