Labor’s victory in SA offers hope for a little energy sanity

renewable energy 2

Originally posted at Renew Economy. View the original post here

The surprise return of the Labor government in South Australia means that the book is not entirely closed on Australia’s mainland for renewable energy.

Indeed, while the broad thrust of national renewable energy policy will be directed by the Abbott government, the return of the Jay Weatherill Labor government in Adelaide, the election of Mike Hodgman in Tasmania, and the ambition of the ACT Labor government means that there are some counters to the apparently ideologically-driven opposition to renewables in the Federal government.

As RenewEconomy has noted before, it is not by accident that the three states and territories most supportive of renewable energy in Australia are those with no, or relative weak, fossil fuel interests.

Continue reading “Labor’s victory in SA offers hope for a little energy sanity”

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”

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”

Australia’s big week in wind energy

Published by Renew Economy. View original article.

Windy_Hill_Wind_Farm[Last Monday’s] graph of the day is a follow-up to a story nearly two weeks ago, when Ketan Joshi brought us news of how wind energy had supplied some 47 per cent of South Australia’s overall electricity requirements from August 10-18.

These graph below come from analyst and advisory firm IES, and many thanks to Andrew Reidy for putting them together. They tell us that South Australia’s was not the only landmark during the week. Wind energy also provided 7.6 per cent of the entire wholesale demand in the National Electricity Market. This graph below shows how much growth that represents over the previous 18 months. The bulk of Australia’s renewable energy production is normally sourced through hydro. Continue reading “Australia’s big week in wind energy”

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”

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’s renewables vision

Published by Climate Spectator. View the original article.

Screen_shot_2011-09-05_at_1.14.52_PMIn 2012, King Islanders were trusted to determine the fate of a proposed wind farm. On Monday, the results of a community vote were announced.

Despite an aggressive scare campaign backed by wealthy NIMBYs and big PR, a clear majority of the community voted for a feasibility study into a 600MW wind farm proposed by HydroTasmania. The result shows that King Islanders won’t be fooled by anti-wind energy spin.

The two-year feasibility study will examine the economic, technical and environmental aspects of the wind farm proposal. The community will now be able to get all the information to needed to make an informed choice about the wind farm proposal.

The green light for the feasibility study is great news for King Islanders and their economy.

With the closure of its abattoir in late 2012, a shrinking population and increased shipping costs, the Island desperately needs a new economic lifeline. That hope may come from the proposed TasWind wind farm.  Continue reading “King Island’s renewables vision”

ABC interview Yes 2 Renewables on the future of Tasmanian economy

In recent years, Tasmania has lagged behind the nation on key economic indicators. The Apple Isle has lost a third of all manufacturing jobs since the GFC and unemployment now stands above the national average. This situation cannot be sustained. In response to economic stagnation, … Continue reading ABC interview Yes 2 Renewables on the future of Tasmanian economy

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”