Surf Coast locals demand an end to double standards on energy

Abbott HendersonIn the dying days of the 2013 federal election, wind energy emerges as an issue for voters in Corangamite.

At the time, Liberal candidate and now elected member of parliament Sarah Henderson proclaimed her support for Ted Baillieu’s unpopular anti-wind farm laws in a town hall meeting in Torquay. Henderson’s endorsement of planning laws which have cost the state millions in investment, hundreds of jobs and crucial renewable energy capacity, was an uncharacteristic gaffe.

The gaffe is still haunting Sarah Henderson. Weeks since the Abbott-led Coalition took office, passionate surf coast resident Anthony Gleeson has taken aim at the ‘double standards’ of the state government’s energy policy. Here’s Gleeson’s contribution which was published by The Surf Coast TimesContinue reading “Surf Coast locals demand an end to double standards on energy”

Pollie Watch: It’s not impossible to be a Liberal and support wind farms

Former Liberal Senator Peter Rae is a renewable energy champion.

The newly elected Abbott government renewable energy policies have the sector and environment groups worried. It has committed to review the RET, impose real-time sound monitoring at wind farms, and conduct another study in wind farms an health.

According to Crikey, which conducted a survey of sitting Liberal party MPs in September, the Coalition draws new-blank support for wind farms. Only one Liberal MP, Warren Entsch, is on the record with a clear position of support for wind energy. Others such as Minister for Environment Greg Hunt and Minister for Energy Ian Macfarlane are ‘on the fence’. Leading progressive Liberal Malcolm Turnbull ‘shows promise’ but could try harder.

Retired Liberal Senator and wind energy champion, Peter Rae (AO), presents a model for the newly elected Abbott government. At the All Energy conference in Melbourne, Rae said Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt understands the importance of wind energy. Rae says the Liberal party have a legacy of supporting world-leading renewable energy policies. Rae hopes this tradition will be upheld.  Continue reading “Pollie Watch: It’s not impossible to be a Liberal and support wind farms”

Pollie Watch: Where do Coalition MPs stand on wind farms?

windpowerssCrikey has conducted a survey of sitting Coalition MPs on the issue of wind energy. The news service has found just one pro-wind energy MP in the government’s ranks, Leichhardt’s Warren Entsch. Reporter Andrew Crook notes: “It seems like Entsch is to wind as Julie Bishop is to women among senior Coalition ranks.”

So what else did Crikey find? There are a few Coalition MPs ‘on the fence’, some who ‘show promise’, and several retired pro-wind energy Liberals:  Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Where do Coalition MPs stand on wind farms?”

Policy Watch: O’Farrell govt renewables plan provides model for Napthine

camFriends of the Earth campaigns coordinator and prominent Australian environmentalist, Cam Walker, says it’s time for the Napthine government to follow the lead of their counterparts in NSW:

Tony Abbott has wasted no time in cutting into climate change programs, including reaffirming earlier commitments to kill off the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which supports the development of renewable energy projects.

This makes the Victorian government’s anti-wind energy stance even more worrying. The creation of arbitrary ‘no go’ zones across much of the state has effectively stopped new wind projects being brought forward. South Australia has been the main beneficiary of this policy, with wind investment moving west. Continue reading “Policy Watch: O’Farrell govt renewables plan provides model for Napthine”

Good news for wind energy!

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Today is a good news day for wind energy in Victoria. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation announced it will provide a $70 million loan to Pacific Hydro to complete the final stage of the Portland Wind Energy Project.

Reporting for the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Hannam writes:

The $10 billion green investment bank, set to be scrapped by the incoming Coalition government, has issued a loan to Pacific Hydro to build the final stage of its Portland wind farm in what is likely to be among the bank’s final deals.

The project will create hundreds of jobs, increase market competition and provide enough clean energy to power 31,000 homes, according to Pacific Hydro.

The CEFC’s backing of the final stage of the Portland wind energy project is a welcome boost for Victoria’s wind energy sector. It will create jobs in the South West while cleaning up the state’s polluting energy sector. The ambitious Portland Wind Energy Project was approved by the Bracks Labor government and has been over a decade in the making.

Good news stories in the wind energy sector are few and far between since the Baillieu government introduced the world’s most restrictive anti-wind farm laws, which have cost the state jobs, investment, income for farmers and clean energy.  Continue reading “Good news for wind energy!”

Wind energy breaks records, yet opposition remains in Liberal ranks

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 4.46.55 PMBlustery conditions in South Australia and Victoria over the last few weeks have helped wind energy break records. Peter Hannam reported Australia’s wind farms generated 7.6 percent of electricity in the national grid–enough to power 2.3 million homes.

Given the proven ability of the technology, one wonders why the Liberal party has put forward several candidates this election who are opposed to wind energy.

One of which is the candidate for the seat of Hume, Angus Taylor, who has emerged as a staunch critic of wind energy and the national Renewable Energy Target–Australia’s most effective climate change policy. Mr Taylor even threw his weight behind a ‘wind power fraud’ rally organised by radical fringe groups at Parliament House in June.

Another is Sarah Henderson, who is running in Australia’s most marginal seat, Corangamite. Ms Henderson recently backed Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws at a community forum. According to Henderson wind farms are “dividing communities.”

Dividing communities?… I don’t think so. Continue reading “Wind energy breaks records, yet opposition remains in Liberal ranks”

Policy Watch: Greens launch renewable energy plan to address key policy gap

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 6.32.41 PMAt the weekend, the Australian Greens released the second tranche of its Clean Energy Roadmap. The plan addresses a critical gap in Australia’s energy policy architecture and would help drive the shift to 100 percent renewable energy.

The Clean Energy Roadmap deals with a key shortcoming of the Gillard Government’s carbon price–namely, the lack of support for enabling infrastructure.

Building new transmission lines to renewable energy hotspots does not directly reduce emissions, therefore, such projects do not benefit from the carbon price or offset markets. The critical infrastructure is also beyond the capacity of the private sector due to high capital costs and the lack of short-term profitability. The Greens call for public investment and long-term vision would open up new regions for sustainable development.

Continue reading “Policy Watch: Greens launch renewable energy plan to address key policy gap”

Pollie Watch: Greens leader calls for a roadmap to 100% renewables

The Greens have continued their national leadership on energy policy by announcing a Clean Energy Roadmap to get Australia to 100 percent renewables. The intervention is an attempt to spark a debate about energy policy in the lead up to the looming federal election.


In an opinion article published by RenewEconomyGreens leader Senator Christine Milne makes the case for a national roadmap. Milne cites studies by the Australian Energy Market Operator and University of New South Wales which find it economically and feasible  for the national grid to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Senator Milne makes her case:

“The cheapest way to decarbonise the electricity sector is to plan the transition early and build the right energy infrastructure in the right place at the right time. To avoid wasting time and money on investments that don’t adequately address climate change, we need a roadmap.”

Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Greens leader calls for a roadmap to 100% renewables”

Pollie Watch: Poll shows another wind/health inquiry is unnecessary

Earth to Tony Abbott and co… If elected, a Coalition government will hold another ‘expert’ inquiry into the alleged health impacts of wind farms. But a poll at The Age newspaper shows a whopping 73 percent of readers think another parliamentary inquiry … Continue reading Pollie Watch: Poll shows another wind/health inquiry is unnecessary