RET WATCH: Target has big impact

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

RET Watch: Labor must hold firm on the Renewable Energy Target

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten.

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has entered the Renewable Energy Target debate. In today’s Australian Financial Review, 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.

We welcome Labor’s call for the Warburton Review to be scrapped and the pledge to support the small-scale scheme. However, we have concerns over the ALP’s willingness to compromise on the large-scale target.
Continue reading “RET Watch: Labor must hold firm on the Renewable Energy Target”

Pollie Watch: Laming joins the ranks of pro-wind Liberals

Allowances-5412571Member 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.

Rubbing insult to injury, a satirical Facebook page titled Things that are more offensive than wind turbines sprung up and rapidly gained over 7,700 supporters.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 7.19.41 AMIf there’s a bright side to the episode, it’s that it has drawn out another pro-wind energy MP within the Liberal party’s ranks: Andrew Laming, the Member for Bowman. Laming joins Warren Entsch as a wind energy supporter. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Laming joins the ranks of pro-wind Liberals”

RET Watch: Lower power bills from renewables under threat from Warburton review

sunrise_clouds-600x0new 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. 

Key findings of the report:  Continue reading “RET Watch: Lower power bills from renewables under threat from Warburton review”

Pollie Watch: Tassie opposition leader vows to protect the RET

377308-3x2-940x627Tasmanian opposition leader Will Hodgman has pledged to protect the Renewable Energy Target.

The Liberal party leader, who will contest the Tasmanian election on 15 March, told The Australian he would fight any move by Canberra to axe or dilute the Renewable Energy Target.

According to The Australian, Hodgman “planned a ‘strong’ push to ensure RET changes did not stymie the state’s key wind and hydro energy sectors.” Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Tassie opposition leader vows to protect the RET”

Record month for Australian wind energy

Published by Renew Economy. View original article.

wind-windy-weather-71ae2989242731aaIn our Graph of the Day on Monday [2nd September], we looked again at the record-breaking week of August 10-18 for wind energy in Australia. As it turns out, the entire month of August 2013 was a record breaker, all round – for the National Electricity Market (NEM), and for the individual states of South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW. Continue reading “Record month for Australian wind energy”

Pollie Watch: Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance puts him at odds with community

Napthine PicVictoria’s new Premier Denis Napthine reaffirmed the government’s opposition to wind farms this morning in an interview with ABC Radio’s Jon Faine.

Premier Napthine’s public embrace of anti-wind farm laws passed by the Baillieu government puts him at odds with the community, who overwhelmingly support wind power.

Poll after poll after poll shows Victorians want more wind power. Premier Napthine’s endorsement of the Ted Baillieu’s retrograde wind farm planning guidelines puts him out-of-step with the community’s views.

Polls consistently show Victorians strongly support wind farms. A poll commissioned by Pacific Hydro in 2012 demonstrates 82 percent of Victorians support more wind power in the state. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance puts him at odds with community”

Yes 2 Renewables Support Local Wind Workers


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.

Bill Meldrum reports for The Portland Observer (‘Campaign against imported towers gains momentum’, 28 Dec 2012) Continue reading “Yes 2 Renewables Support Local Wind Workers”

Renewable energy is blowing in the wind

Published by the Geelong Advertiser

Breamlea Wind TurbineGeelong 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”

Yes 2 Renewables Bust Wind Energy Whoppers


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:

Max Rheese of the Australian Environment Foundation and climate change sceptic group, the Australian Climate Science Coalition, has a long track record of making claims about wind farms that are not supported by evidence. Mr Rheese’s comments recently featured in Stock & Land (‘Push to back wind power,’ Nov 1) are no exception.

Mr Rheese’s claim that wind energy has no economic benefit is simply incorrect. And the notion of ‘growing evidence’ of wind turbines adversely affecting human health is misleading.

Wind farms have proven economic benefits for communities. Continue reading “Yes 2 Renewables Bust Wind Energy Whoppers”