Victorian govt’s anti-wind farm laws threaten AEMO forecast

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A new Australian Energy Market Operator report forecasts large increase in Victoria’s wind energy capacity by 2020–delivering jobs and investment for regional areas. Unfortunately, the anti-wind farm laws introduced by Ted Baillieu mean the growth is not assured. The laws put the all the benefits of wind farming at risk.

Here’s The Weekly Times with the scoop:

NEW wind energy forecasts by the Australian Energy Market Operator says Victoria’s capacity should lift five-fold by the end of the decade.

In the report, Integrating Renewable Energy – Wind Energy Integration Report, the AEMO forecasts 4090 megawatts of new wind energy capacity in the state by 2020. The increase would lift the state’s installed wind energy capacity from 884MW in 2013 to 4974MW in 2020.
But Friends of the Earth spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said reaching the forecast was not assured. 

“AEMO’s forecast is welcomed news for those who understand how wind farms benefit regional Victoria, yet the anti-wind farm laws imposed by former Premier Ted Baillieu will make it difficult to meet,” Mr Ewbank said.

“Mr Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws have held back the wind energy sector for over two years.

“A mere eight turbines have been approved since the Coalition took office.”

Mr Ewbank said even projects that meet the world’s strictest wind farm planning laws, such as the Cherry Tree Range proposal, have been stalled.

“Premier Denis Napthine can show political leadership and restore fair laws for wind farms in Victoria. To date, he’s shown little interest in dealing with his predecessor’s policy failure,” he said.

Based on figures calculated by the Clean Energy Council the AEMO’s forecast would create more than 3900 construction jobs, up to 405 ongoing jobs and generate $20 million worth of drought-proof income for farmers.

And if the AEMO’s forecast were to be achieved, the report found about 27-30 per cent of Victoria’s total annual generation would come from wind farms alone.

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