In 2012, TasWind put the fate of a wind farm proposal in the hands of King Islanders. It was this unique community consultation model which inspired me to visit your Island on two occasions. Some of you may know me as the ‘Vegemite Man’, in reference to the knitted jumper I’m always wearing.
After nearly six months of deliberation and debate, a majority of King Islanders have given TasWind the green light to undertake a feasibility study. They have voted to find out more information about the proposal, its potential benefits and impacts. Before ultimately making a decision about the project itself.
Community-owned energy projects are a beacon of hope as the nation struggles to address climate change. The trailblazing Hepburn Wind farm set the bar when it comes to community-owned energy projects in Australia. And many more projects are on the drawing board.
A new organisation known as the Community Power Agency was launched this week to support Australia’s rapidly developing community-energy sector.
“Australia’s community-owned renewable energy sector is growing exponentially,” said Community Power Agency co-founder, Nicky Ison. “In 2009 there were three community-energy projects underway. In 2013, there are now around 40 in development across the country.”
Taryn Lane, community officer for Hepburn Wind, recently returned from a speaking tour of Japan were she briefed university researchers, policymakers, and community organisations about the community-ownership model for renewable energy. The highlight of Taryn’s trip was a community meeting attended by more than 300 enthusiastic people keen to understand how a community-wind energy project can get off the ground. Lane’s trip has fostered strong links between Daylesford and Japan, and was a strong reason for the Fukushima Youth Delegation’s visit to the Hepburn Wind farm.
The following is a report by Taryn Lane:
This week, twelve students from Fukushima visited the Hepburn Wind farm for a glimpse of the clean energy future they want to build in their disaster stricken province in Japan.
By Lisa Caripis and Anne Kallies, University of Melbourne.
It’s been just over one year since the Baillieu government introduced the second part of its far-reaching planning law reforms to restrict the development of wind farms in Victoria. The results are an example of how state planning law can be a barrier to achieving national renewable energy goals.
With a majority in both houses of Parliament, the Coalition was able to amend Victoria’s planning framework unhindered to deliver on its 2010 election promise to “restore fairness and certainty to the planning process for wind farms”.
In pursuit of this aim, the planning amendments most notably impose a blanket ban on wind farms in many parts of the state. They effectively give the owners of any dwelling within 2km of a proposed wind farm the power to decide whether or not the development should proceed. A July 2012 amendment clarifies that these changes are targeted at wind farms generating electricity for supply to the grid, not for on-site use.
Economically, reports indicate that the impacts of these changes in terms of lost or stalled wind farm investment and employment have been considerable, in a state that has some of Australia’s best wind resources.
The Victorian Labor party has shed light on its position on wind energy as the full impact of the Baillieu government’s anti-windfarm laws become clear. While the Opposition didn’t go as far as pledging to repeal the VC82 planning amendments, the Labor party’s comments reflect a clear point of difference from the Baillieu government.
This comes from the Bendigo Advertiser, journalist is Risa Ellen, 22 Nov, 2011. MORE voices are to join the protest against wind farm bans after a conference on community-owned energy projects voted to write to the state government over the issue. About 130 delegates from across Australia attended the two-day Community Power conference in Bendigo last week, to discuss community-run renewable energy projects. City of Greater Bendigo councillor Keith Reynard said the participants voted unanimously to support the motion for conference conveners to write to the Victorian government over the wind farm policy Amendment VC82, which bans wind farms from … Continue reading Wind farms supported by Bendigo conference
This article, by Paddy Manning, appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on November 5, 2011. Ted Baillieu’s draconian anti-wind laws render many promising energy projects impossible. TODAY more than 500 people are expected in Daylesford to celebrate the launch of Hepburn Wind, a community-owned wind farm generating more than enough power for the 2000 local homes. The twin turbines were commissioned a few months ago and the launch is the culmination of six years’ effort and a $13.5 million investment. No matter how sunny the weather, a cloud will hang over the launch: Premier Ted Baillieu’s draconian anti-wind … Continue reading ‘Policy an ill wind that blows nobody any good’