Threat To The RET Also A Threat To Retirement Savings

Originally posted at Energy Matters. View the original post here

An investment advisory group has warned hobbling Australian’s Renewable Energy Target will negatively impact on the superannuation of millions of Australians.

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC ) is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors examining the impact climate change has on the financial value of investments. Its management committee includes members from organisations including HESTA Super Fund, Citi Investment Research, Goldman Sachs and AMP Capital Investors.

ethicalinvestmentAccording to the Australian Financial Review , the investor group’s chief executive Nathan Fabian has warned millions of Australians are financially exposed to renewable energy assets via their Australian-based superannuation funds. Continue reading “Threat To The RET Also A Threat To Retirement Savings”

Pollie Watch: Clive Palmer keeps shtum on the Renewable Energy Target


Wealthy mining magnate and Federal MP Clive Palmer has once again refused to be drawn on the issue of his Palmer United Party’s (PUP) stance on the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

According to The Australian, Palmer told an audience in Launceston yesterday

 “We’re looking at all those issues at the moment because we haven’t formed a view on what we’ll do with legislation coming before the Senate and when we look at what advantage we can do with our position,”

Palmer’s position here is important because it is likely to determine the viability of any attempt to scrap or seriously amend the RET scheme at the federal level. It is not yet certain, however, whether the PUP will ultimately maintain the balance of power in the Senate, given the potential reshuffling of the six seats available in WA’s Senate election re-run. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Clive Palmer keeps shtum on the Renewable Energy Target”

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”

Attitude and Auralisation – The Virtualisation of Wind Farm Sound

Published by Etwas Luft. View the original article.

By Ketan Joshi,  Research and Communications Officer at Infigen Energy. These views are his own. 

If you’re looking for immediate confusion, the science of sound is a fantastic place to start. Some part of my brain seems to immediately shut down when confronted with the tricky task of trying to quantify the subjective experience of sound. It’s in this foggy field that most wind developers find themselves standing, when attempting to inform communities about the acoustic impact of wind turbines.

I was at Clean Energy Week last week, and I had a chance to experience a neat new tool developed by Arup, in conjunction with Hydro Tasmania, that seems to circumvent the need to communicate the complex (logarithms, what even are they) science of acoustic engineering.

On Thursday morning, I sat amongst six Genelec 8030A speakers, and one (beautiful) Genelec 7060B subwoofer, in front of a screen that displayed recorded video of a wind turbine (Genelec manufacture professional studio-grade speaker systems). The engineers had arrived much earlier the day before, and calibrated the device to account for the room. The speakers also cover most of the low-frequency range of wind farm sound as well – down to 40 hertz. Continue reading “Attitude and Auralisation – The Virtualisation of Wind Farm Sound”

Anti-wind activists put jobs, climate action at risk on King Island

Hydro Tasmania, the firm proposing a wind farm for King Island, has won a national award for community engagement.

The Clean Energy Council recognised Hydro Tasmania at the 2013 Clean Energy Week awards for exceptional community engagement surrounding its Musselroe Wind Farm project in Northern Tasmania.

61._17-05-13_mrwf_044_LargeHydro Tasmania’s track record working with communities did not deter anti-wind farm activists from undermining the community consultation process on King Island. Continue reading “Anti-wind activists put jobs, climate action at risk on King Island”

A turning point in the wind wars?

Published by RenewEconomy. View the original article.  

Over the last few years the rollout of wind farms in Australia has faced some setbacks, yet the sector’s fortunes are changing.

753717357_b9dcdce786_bIn 2011 Victoria’s Coalition government imposed onerous restrictions on wind farms, which stalled the sector’s development and cost thousands of jobs and billions in investment in that state.

More recently on a national level, Senators Madigan and Xenophon have pushed similarly restrictive legislation in the Senate and the Coalition’s reluctance to support the 41,000 GWh Renewable Energy Target is creating uncertainty for developers.

The impact of these policy issues have been amplified by a noisy minority of anti-wind farm campaigners. The Waubra Foundation and website, Stop These Things, among others, have attempted to turn the public against clean, renewable energy generated from the wind.

Taking a chapter out of the climate deniers playbook, they consistently raise doubts about the technology. The anti-wind lobby repeatedly claim wind farms cause 233 health problems despite 19 reviews showing wind energy to be clean and safe.

While the anti-wind farm campaign has bought into its own rhetoric, the Australian public hasn’t. Poll after poll shows the majority of Australians support more wind farms. These people come from all walks of life – blue-collar workers who see the jobs potential of the sector; farmers who want to drought-proof their land by hosting turbines; and environmentally conscious community members who want to be a part of climate change solutions.

For a time, it was difficult for this silent majority to have their views heard. Continue reading “A turning point in the wind wars?”

Wind farm feasibility opens economic opportunities for King Island

Published in the King Island Courier.

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.

Some in the community will be disappointed with the result, yet now is the time to let go of the divisions and start healing. Perhaps a good starting point for this process is to consider what unexpected benefits the project can deliver. Continue reading “Wind farm feasibility opens economic opportunities for King Island”

King Island community votes ‘yes’ to wind farm feasibility, rejects scare campaign

In 2012, King Islanders were trusted to determine the fate of a proposed wind farm. Today, the results of a community vote are in. Despite an anti-wind energy scare campaign backed by wealthy NIMBYs and big PR, the community has … Continue reading King Island community votes ‘yes’ to wind farm feasibility, rejects scare campaign

The King of all battles: wind farm vs golf course vs shearwater

Published by Independent Australia. View the original article

The nation’s biggest wind farm development on King Island is being threatened by golf course developments — that themselves threaten 80,000 mutton birds. David Looker reports.

Short-tailed Shearwater

THE Short-tailed Shearwater, commonly called the mutton bird, is an unassuming bird whose habits capture the imagination.

It breeds in coastal sand holes dug in massive rookeries across southern  Australia and then flies in a figure of eight pattern, across the Pacific, to feeding grounds as far away as the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. It is a prolific species — Parks Tasmania estimate there are 23 million of them.

The shearwater often returns to breed in the same hole and with the same mate — sometimes for over a decade. Flights of up to 17,000 kilometres have been tracked.

Now, despite their seasonal absence, about 80,000 of these birds currently in the Northern hemisphere have unwittingly flown right into the King Island wind farm debate. They don’t know it yet, but they will find out when they return to Cape Wickham, King Island next year and find their holes have been “relocated” to make way for a golf course under the Cape Wickham Lighthouse. Continue reading “The King of all battles: wind farm vs golf course vs shearwater”

Economic study on King Island wind farm is “deeply flawed”

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The body spearheading community consultation for the King Island wind farm proposal has released new economic modelling on the costs and benefits of the project. Unfortunately for King Islanders, the study appears to be deeply flawed. It fails to provide meaningful information needed for informed decision making.

The TasWind Consultative Committee commissioned the consultancy CH2M Hill to investigate how King Island’s economy would fare with and without the wind farm. Due to narrow terms of reference it failed to account for some of the most important benefits the wind farm would deliver.

Pay close attention to the following passage (page 15):

“The construction of the TasWind Project under Model 1 will be accompanied by associated upgrades to existing port infrastructure, accommodation facilities, and the installation of a fibre optic telecommunication cable. Depending on the port design and other costs, these infrastructure upgrades may result in a range of indirect benefits to the King Island economy and community but further analysis will be required. While the impact of these indirect benefits has not been explicitly considered in the economic model, the potential benefits will not accrue to the King Island economy or community under Model 2.”

Not “explicitly considered” means not considered. You don’t have to be an economist (or a rocket scientist for that matter) to understand how upgraded port facilities and expedited access to the NBN will strengthen the local economy. CH2M Hill’s finding that King Island’s economy will be better off without the wind farm should be taken with a grain of salt. Continue reading “Economic study on King Island wind farm is “deeply flawed””