Plans for a 12MW geothermal energy installation to power the industrial city of Geelong and Surf Coast region has been scrapped after the Napthine Government withdrew a $25 million grant for the project.
So, what does the move tell Victorians about the Napthine government’s energy policy?
The Napthine government is starting to look like it’s anti-renewable energy. Its decision to pull funding from a geothermal energy project comes on top of Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws which have cost the state thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions worth of investment. To date, Premier Napthine has shown no interest in dealing with his predecessors policy failure.
The scrapped funding for a geothermal power station is the second renewable energy project to be killed off in the Geelong region since the Coalition took office.
In 2011, the Surf Coast Energy Group‘s dream of a community-owned wind farm modelled on the award-winning Hepburn Wind farm was killed when then Premier Ted Baillieu flagged wind farms would be banned around Geelong, along the coast and Bellarine Peninsula.
The government’s record on helping to get renewable energy projects off the ground in the region is poor.
The local member of parliament Andrew Katos’ (Liberal party) commitment to the growth of renewable energy in the region is questionable. Many of his constituents must be wondering whether Mr Katos even went in to bat for local renewable energy projects.
The decision to withdraw funding will disappoint local groups who support renewable energy, such as Surf Coast Air Action. SCAA are campaigning to address polluting emissions which risk the health of residents of Anglesea. The Alcoa coal mine and power plant located just 2 kilometres from the town.
The geothermal energy facility which was to be located at the Holcim Ltd Moriac quarry, 11km north west of Anglesea, would have emitted only water vapour.
The renewable energy projects which have been killed off by Coalition government policies would have created local jobs, investment, and helped power Geelong without polluting emissions.
If you’re a local and think Mr Katos should stand up for renewable energy in the Coalition party room, now’s the time to send a message: