South Australian Yes 2 Renewables contributor, Dave Clarke, visited the Snowtown wind farm extension last week. Here’s a quick dispatch from the frontline of the renewable energy transition:
I didn’t realise until recently how big the Snowtown wind farm expansion is in comparison to what is already around the place. Something like 20 of the 90 new turbines are already in place.
At the end of 2012 total installed wind power in Australia was 2576MW. This project, Snowtown 2 at 270MW, will increase that amount by more than 10 percent. It will increase the amount of installed wind capacity in South Australia by 25 percent (from 1073MW to 1343MW).
And not a word of objection to it!
Interesting how the local people seem generally to be quite happy with those South Australian wind farms that were built before about 2010. Snowtown Stage 1 was completed in 2008.
South Australia is the national leader when it comes to renewable energy.
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, the state has enough installed renewable energy capacity to meet 31 percent of demand without climate changing carbon emissions (27 percent wind, 4 percent rooftop solar).
South Australia’s leadership position is set to continue as recent analysis shows it speeding towards a massive 50 percent renewable energy within a decade. It’s no wonder then that the Victorian Labor party has stated its intention to use the South Australian model as a guide.
In an interview with The Standard–the one where Labor promised to “rip up” Baillieu’s brown tape–shadow planning minister Brian Tee pointed to South Australian policy for what might replace the anti-wind farm laws. Victoria’s renewable energy sector has been unnecessarily stalled by the current planning arrangements, which are the world’s toughest restrictions for wind farms.
South Australia has shown what’s possible with a renewable energy. Thankfully, it’s only a matter of time before Victoria follows suit.