‘Policy an ill wind that blows nobody any good’

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’

What is the real cost of Ted Baillieu’s wind energy policy?

In late August, the Baillieu government implemented new planning rules which  place large sections of Victoria off-limits to wind farm developments through the creation of No Go zones, and set in place a 2 kilometre ‘right of veto’, whereby a single household can block any turbines within 2 kilometres of their home. Planning Minister Matthew Guy said he did not believe the two kilometre set-back policy would stop developers investing in wind energy Victoria. Premier Ted Baillieu has also rejected suggestions the changes would harm the wind farm industry. However, the facts of the matter suggest otherwise. Already we have … Continue reading What is the real cost of Ted Baillieu’s wind energy policy?

New turbine research shows potential for jobs, efficiency and noise reduction

We refer to wind turbines as a mature technology – they are, and they are well proven as a reliable energy source as many countries, and even South Australia, prove by integrating 20% wind energy into their grid. That doesn’t mean further innovation is possible, any more than the “mature” (century-old) automobile design relying on an internal combustion engine can’t be surpassed (as they now are, by electric vehicles). As the renewable energy industry grows, we could see a huge creative engineering potential unleashed. Here’s three innovations currently being projected for turbine design, starting right here in Victoria – Geelong. … Continue reading New turbine research shows potential for jobs, efficiency and noise reduction

The first (and last?) community wind farm gets Premier’s award

Last week, the Hepburn Community Wind Park Co-operative Ltd won the Community section of the Victorian Premier’s sustainability awards. The Sustainability Awards, now in their ninth year, were established to recognise and reward “Victorian businesses, institutions, communities and individuals that are forging a sustainable Victoria now and for the future”. The Hepburn wind farm, which is Australia’s first community owned wind farm,  is composed of 2 turbines at Leonards Hill, just south of Daylesford, and will start generating energy soon. It is a wonderful example of a community banding together to take tangible and meaningful action to reduce greenhouse emissions. … Continue reading The first (and last?) community wind farm gets Premier’s award

Westgate Community Wind

An update on the inspiring proposal to establish a community-owned wind farm in inner west Melbourne. Join us in creating Melbourne’s first community-owned wind turbine, producing clean energy for our community and our future. This highly visible wind turbine, located on the north side of the Westgate Bridge will attract attention from the approximately 160,000 vehicles that cross the Westgate Bridge each day. This iconic project will demonstrate Melbourne’s commitment to clean energy and desire to address change. The international scientific community is united in its belief that the earth’s climate is changing and this is the result of human … Continue reading Westgate Community Wind

an update on wind energy in the USA

The following (which can be downloaded directly as a powerpoint or PDF) outlines recent trends in the USA. Some key points: The United States has experienced 5 years of strong growth in wind energy Four states have achieved greater than 10 percent wind energy. Texas continues to lead in capacity soaring demand for wind energy is spurring the expansion of U.S. wind turbine manufacturing. Wind Powering America Update This presentation gives a broad yet comprehensive overview of wind energy in the United States. It uses maps and charts to quickly show the past and current status of wind energy development … Continue reading an update on wind energy in the USA

Wind farm sizes suggest bigger is no better

A post from Grist. This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Have wind developers hit a financial sweet spot above which more turbines results in disproportionate land acquisition and lease costs? Are crane and construction economies of scale no greater? Are NIMBY concerns mitigated with a smaller number of turbines? Wind generation may be growing rapidly in the United States, but the size of wind farms — measured by the number of turbines — is not. Rather, wind farm capacity grows largely because of increasing turbine size. The … Continue reading Wind farm sizes suggest bigger is no better

Mt Barker Community Windfarm up and running

The Western Australian great southern town of Mount Barker is running on green power after the town’s wind farm was officially opened at the weekend. Three wind turbines have been mounted on a hill at a farm just north of the town. The turbines were switched on late last month and are now connected to the grid. The wind turbines are now spinning on a hill on a private sheep farm 4 km north of Mt Barker on the western side of Albany Highway. The windfarm consists of three 800kW E53 Enercon wind turbines, bigger than those in Esperance but … Continue reading Mt Barker Community Windfarm up and running

Lancaster University wind turbine to generate 20% of Uni power needs

In October 2010 Lancaster University submitted a new planning application to Lancaster City Council for the erection of a single wind turbine on the Hazelrigg site to the east of the M6 Motorway. The planning application would see one 2.1MW wind turbine constructed in the northern part of the Hazelrigg site. The turbine would produce approximately 20% of the University’s annual electrical power requirements, equivalent to two thirds of the residential requirements of all students who live on campus. This application has now been approved, partly because of the community support generated by the Yes2Wind website in the UK. More … Continue reading Lancaster University wind turbine to generate 20% of Uni power needs

US government project gets small scale wind into schools and universities

While the Victorian government is implementing it’s anti wind-industry policy, some other governments are doing the opposite … US government project gets small scale wind into schools and universities The US Department of Energy’s ‘Wind Powering America’ program sponsors the ‘Wind for Schools‘ project to raise awareness in rural USA about the benefits of wind energy while simultaneously developing a wind energy knowledge base in future leaders. One aspect of the ‘Wind for Schools’ program is that it helps install small wind turbines at rural elementary and secondary schools and develops Wind Application Centers at higher education institutions. There is … Continue reading US government project gets small scale wind into schools and universities