Friends of the Earth’s campaigns coordinator, Cam Walker, has chimed in to the Renewable Energy Target debate with a letter published in The Border Mail. TONY Abbott says his government is “inching closer” to a deal on the renewable energy target “Renewed … Continue reading RET WATCH: Target has big impact
Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has entered the Renewable Energy Target debate. In today’s Australian FinancialReview,Mr Shorten called on the Abbott government to “ditch” the Warburton review and said any compromise on the scheme would be on the Labor party’s terms.
“If the Prime Minister wants to work with Labor to fix the mess he has created, he first has to rule out the recommendations in the Warburton review,” Mr Shorten said.
“That’s job one for Tony Abbott. This is the Prime Minister’s report with the industry and job-decimating recommendations he wanted. It belongs in the bin.”
“They have wrecked the political consensus, they have smashed business and investor confidence, and thousands of jobs are now on the line.”
According to Phillip Coorey’s AFR report, Labor would back the retention of the small-scale solar component of the Renewable Energy Target, while floating the idea of maintaining but deferring the 41-terawatt-hour large-scale target.
Friends of the Earth has welcomed aspects of Labor’s comments on the Renewable Energy Target.
Member for Bowman Andrew Laming has emerged as a wind energy supporter within government as the fallout continues from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s undisciplined comments bagging wind farms.
Taking issue with Joe Hockey’s claim wind energy is “utterly offensive” and a “blight on the landscape,” renewable energy supporters flooded the Sydney Morning Herald with letters defending the technology.
Australian National University academic Hugh Saddler penned a dispassionate analysis concluding that, despite the Treasurer’s hostility, wind energy will remain a growth sector in the ACT.
A new study released by the Clean Energy Council finds that renewable energy will deliver cheaper power bills for Australians by the decade’s end.
Australian households can be $50 better off each year by 2020, but only if the Renewable Energy Target remains unchanged. If the target is scrapped householders will pay $140 more on their power bills a year from 2020.
The Renewable Energy Target, introduced by the Howard government, is Australia’s flagship renewable energy policy. It will ensure 41 terrawatt hours of renewable energy generation by 2020.
“This study shows that the Renewable Energy Target is holding electricity prices lower over the long term by minimising the use of increasingly costly gas for electricity generation,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green in a press statement.
Yes 2 Renewables has once again shown its support for Victoria’s wind workers – this time in relation to the emerging issue of imported wind turbine towers.
The promise of ‘green jobs’ is a well established part of the sales-pitch for renewable energy advocates. Environmental organisations, industry bodies, unions and energy companies spruiked job creation to build public support for rolling out renewables for years. And this has largely been realised to date. A Clean Energy Council report from July 2012, for example, shows 5200 people are employed in the Australian wind energy sector—over 1200 of whom live in Victoria.
The growth of green jobs in Victoria faces several threats. The Baillieu government’s stringent wind farm planning laws, introduced in August 2011, have cost Victoria 650 direct jobs lost or stalled in construction; 54 on-going jobs in management of wind farms; and 1408 indirectly associated (flow-on) jobs. These laws will cost Victoria jobs as long as they are in effect.
Now, Australia’s nascent wind energy manufacturers face a new threat: imported wind turbine towers. Wind turbine towers are commonly manufactured locally and are one of the key job creating aspects of wind farm projects. Imported wind turbine towers from abroad may result in substantially less demand for Australian-made towers.
Yes 2 Renewables met dozens of wind workers involved in fabricating the sleek, white towers that support wind turbines when we visited Portland’s Keppel Prince Engineering in 2012. We gained a first-hand insight into the important economic benefits local manufacturing delivers regional towns. This is why Yes 2 Renewables support the procurement of locally-manufactured wind turbine towers and components where possible.
The transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean renewable energy sources is a win-win for our community, our environment, and our economy. The benefits for local communities are greatest when they support local manufacturing.
Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula have played a pioneering role when it comes to wind energy in Australia.
25-years ago this month, the blades of Victoria’s first wind turbine started spinning in Breamlea—transforming the steady sea winds into clean electricity for Victorians.
The State Electricity Commission built the Breamlea turbine in 1987 to demonstrate the viability of wind energy in Victoria. We now know the SEC was onto something.
Today there are nine operating wind farms in Victoria. These farms tap the state’s vast wind energy resource to power tens of thousands of homes and businesses without the adverse health and environmental impacts caused by fossil fuels.
Unfortunately the blossoming wind energy sector came to an abrupt halt last year when the Baillieu government introduced heavy-handed planning laws that unfairly targeted wind farms.
The VC-82 amendment to the Victorian planning scheme, effectively bans wind farms from large swathes of Victoria and allow just one objector to veto wind turbine within 2 kilometres.
Meanwhile, no such restrictions apply to coal and coal-seam gas exploration and development. A local example many will be aware of is in Anglesea, where residents have no say over the coalmine and power plant less than 2 kilometres from their town.
Thanks to Premier Baillieu and his Coalition colleagues, Victoria is no longer the place to be for wind energy. Not one single wind farm has been approved in over a year—costing the state thousands of jobs, billions of dollars worth of investment and one of the best tools available for community action on climate change. Continue reading “Renewable energy is blowing in the wind”
When it comes to wind energy whoppers, the Australian Environment Foundation’s Max Rheese has an impeccable record. In last week’s Stock & Land, Rheese claimed wind energy has no economic benefit and alleged wind turbines have adverse impacts on human health. Such claims are not supported by the evidence.
The Yes 2 Renewables campaign set the record straight in a letter to the editor published in this week’s edition of Stock & Land. It is reproduced below: