New analysis reveals wind farm benefits as senate wind inquiry comes to Canberra

A new Friends of the Earth analysis finds wind farms within 100 kilometres of the nation’s Parliament have delivered hundreds of jobs and millions worth of investment for communities, all while cutting pollution.

Drawing on modeling from Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs),[i] Friends of the Earth estimate the wind farms operating within 100 kilometres from Parliament House have:[ii]

  • Created 348 construction jobs and 35 ongoing jobs in operations and maintenance for the 25-year plus life of the project.
  • Stimulated $6.4 million worth of flow-on economic benefit to regional communities during construction.
  • Generated enough clean electricity to power over 139,500 homes each year.
  • Cut greenhouse gas pollution by over 837,000 tonnes each year.

“Wind farms operating on the doorstep of the nation’s Parliament have created 348 construction jobs, 35 ongoing jobs, and generated $6.4 million worth of economic benefit to communities,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth renewable energy spokesperson.

“Wind energy should be welcomed by anyone who supports jobs, investment, and action on climate change.”

R4R Capital 2Friends of the Earth say the new analysis hits the reset button on the wind energy conversation as the senate holds a public hearing in the nation’s capital.

“We wanted to take a fresh look at wind farms near the ACT to understand the ways in which they benefit communities,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“We wanted to provide the community with reliable information about the jobs and investment the wind energy sector has delivered the region—rather than get distracted by the anti-wind farm spin.”

Friends of the Earth say the current senate inquiry must account for the benefits of wind energy.

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

“If Senator Madigan wants the current wind inquiry to have any credibility with the community, the final report must discuss wind energy in context. It will have to compare the technology to fossil fuels, consider jobs and economic benefits, and its contribution to tackling global warming.”

“If it fails to do so, then what public confidence there is in the inquiry will be eroded.”

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Senator John Madigan, chair of the wind inquiry.

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.

“Wind farms in the ACT region and those built to meet the territory’s Renewable Energy Target will make a big contribution to Australia’s efforts to cut pollution and tackle global warming,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“Operating wind farms wind farm generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power for over 139,500 homes each year, cutting carbon emissions by 837,000 tonnes.”



i: Based on Sinclair Knight Merz modeling available:

ii: Operating wind farms within 100km of Parliament House: Capital, Woodlawn, Cullerin Range, Gunning.

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