New data from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows wind energy is doing the heavy lifting to reduce South Australia’s carbon emissions.
The transformation occurring in South Australia’s energy system is a far cry from Victoria where restrictive ‘brown tape’ ban wind farms in large swathes of the state.
The anti-wind farm laws endorsed by Premier Napthine have cost the state $887 million in lost or stalled investment and around 2000 jobs to the benefit of South Australia. Since 2011, wind energy has pumped $5 billion into the South Australian economy and created over 2000 jobs.
Wind energy in South Australia is a success story: reducing carbon emissions and electricity prices.
Data from AEMO’s South Australian Historical Market Information report reveals carbon emissions from South Australia’s energy sector declined 7 percent in just one year. Energy analysts attribute the lowest wholesale electricity prices since the market commenced in 1998 to wind energy.
Ten years ago, wind energy supplied almost none of South Australia’s electricity demand. Today it provides a quarter of South Australia’s electricity demand, more than coal. Meanwhile, wind energy in Victoria has stagnated for two years, since the Coalition government introduced stringent planning restrictions for wind farms.
Victoria’s prohibitive wind farm planning regulations were implemented by Minister for Planning Matthew Guy who has the authority to amend the planning scheme. The laws can be changed as easily as they were implemented.
Victoria has a world class wind resource with excellent development potential. It’s time for political leadership. It’s time to remove the brown tape and restore fair laws for wind farms.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber raised an interesting point on Twitter regarding the interaction between the Coalition government’s current wind farm planning laws and the Renewable Energy Target:
@TheRealEwbank Victorians all contribute to the 20% renewable target thru our bills. But SA gets the benefit in terms of local jobs.
— greg barber (@GregMLC) August 1, 2013