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Pollie Watch: SA Premier understands wind energy benefits

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill understands the benefits of wind farms. According to a recent RenewEconomy report:

691965-jay-weatherillSouth Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill has reaffirmed his government’s support for wind energy, saying that recent calls from within parliament for a moratorium on future wind farm development in Australia were putting investment in the industry at risk. “The government remains committed to providing ample opportunity for investment in wind energy in South Australia,” the premier told state parliament on Tuesday, adding that he would seek a vote in parliament on Wednesday backing the renewable energy sector. “Every megawatt hour of wind energy cuts about one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. Apart from the environmental benefits, wind farms also bring in vital investment to our state,” Weatherill said, pointing to the around $3 billion in wind energy investment South Australia had already attracted, as well as 842 direct jobs.

With the highest installed capacity of wind energy (1203 MW) in Australia, South Australia’s wind farms are now generating more electricity in the state than coal (24 percent). In the year 2011-12, South Australian wind farms generated 3,349 GWh of clean, renewable energy, or 26 percent of the states total supply.

In contrast, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has endorsed the anti-wind farm laws enacted by his predecessor Ted Baillieu. Research by Yes 2 Renewables estimates the wind policy championed by Baillieu has cost Victoria around $887 million in lost or stalled investment, hundreds of jobs, and crucial renewable energy supplies that would help Victorians tackle climate change.

In just over one week more than one thousand Victorians have signed a Yes 2 Renewables  petition calling on Premier Napthine to re-write the government’s anti-wind farm laws and return balance to the planning system for renewable energy. You can sign our petition here and join them. 

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