Wind energy in southwest Victoria: A win for jobs, regional economies, and climate change

What a vista!… One of Portland’s four wind farms.

A new Friends of the Earth analysis finds wind energy has created jobs and delivered investment for south west Victorian communities, while making a strong contribution to cutting Australia’s carbon emissions.

Drawing on modeling from Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs),* Friends of the Earth estimates the wind farms in the southwest Victoria have:**

  • Created 685 construction jobs and 71 ongoing jobs in operations and maintenances.
  • Stimulated $17.1 million worth of flow-on economic benefit to the region.

The wind farms on the southwest coast alone have:

  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tones since 2007, when the Yambuk Wind Farm began operating.

Friends of the Earth say the new analysis hits the reset button on the wind energy conversation.

“We wanted to take a fresh look at wind energy to understand the ways in which it has benefited the southwest coast,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“We wanted to provide the community with solid estimates on how many jobs and investment the wind energy sector has delivered the region.”

Wind jobs
Wind energy has created hundred of construction jobs in southwest Victoria since 2001.

Friends of the Earth want to facilitate an informed discussion about the role of wind farms.

“Given the jobs and economic benefits, it’s not surprising that all available public polling shows Australians support more wind energy.”

The Abbott government and Opposition are committed to cut Australia’s carbon emissions by 5 per cent by 2020. The federal government will soon announce its greenhouse gas reduction targets ahead of international climate negotiations in Paris in December.

“The wind farms in southwest Victoria make a huge contribution to Australia’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and tackle global warming,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“Now that stage IV is complete, the wind farms on the southwest coast will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power a city the size of Geelong, 150,000 homes, per year.”

“These wind farms mean less pollution in coal-affected communities such as Morwell and Anglesea and cut greenhouse gasses by 550,000 tonnes a year.”  

SCAA Anglesea
More wind energy means less pollution for communities such as Anglesea.


  • Make a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines today. Yes 2 Renewables has put together the following resource and fact sheet to help you have your say. Submissions close 5pm, Monday 4 May, 2015, so get cracking…
* Based on Sinclair Knight Merz modeling available here.
** The analysis accounts for the Codrington, Yambuk, Cape Nelson South, Cape Bridgewater, Portland Wind Energy Project IV, Macarthur, Oakland Hills, and Morton’s Lane wind farms.

2 thoughts on “Wind energy in southwest Victoria: A win for jobs, regional economies, and climate change

  1. Unfortunately science and evidence is an anathema to the flat Earth brigade. Even if they were choking to death on coal dust, they wouldn’t change their mind.

  2. Wind farms employ 71 people.

    Quote:”The brown coal mining and energy industry accounts for a significant proportion of the economic activity and employment in the Latrobe Valley. The industry directly and indirectly provides employment to approximately 3000 people, close to 11 per cent of the workforce, in the Latrobe Valley. More tellingly one third of the higher paid jobs in the region are in the coal and energy industry.

    Click to access Minerals_-_Fact_Sheets_-_Brown_Coal_-_Lignite.pdf

    Watch out Blair, you might fall over the edge!


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