Surf Coast Energy Group backs wind farms, jobs in Victoria

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PMFriends of the Earth‘s recent report on the costs of anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu, and supported by the Napthine government, has put renewable energy on the state election agenda.

The Age featured exclusive coverage of the research report. The Surf Coast Times and Macedon Ranges Guardian, newspapers in the battleground seats of South Barwon and Macedon, reported on the local impacts of the Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws.

These local impacts prompted Surf Coast councillor Eve Fisher  to draft a motion calling for community-initiated projects to be exempted from the state government’s restrictive planning laws.

President of the Surf Coast Energy Group, Aaron Lewtas, has entered the debate. Lewtas sees wind energy as an opportunity to create jobs and strengthen economies while tackling climate change:  Continue reading “Surf Coast Energy Group backs wind farms, jobs in Victoria”

Geelong Sustainability Group back wind energy, jobs in Victoria

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PMFriends of the Earth‘s recent report on the costs of anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu, and supported by the Napthine government, has put renewable energy on the state election agenda.

The Age featured exclusive coverage of the research report. The Surf Coast Times and Macedon Ranges Guardian, newspapers in the battleground seats of South Barwon and Macedon, reported on the local impacts of the Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws.

These local impacts prompted President of the Geelong Sustainability Group, Dave Campbell, to chimed in on the issue. Campbell sees wind energy as a big opportunity for Geelong’s manufacturers:  Continue reading “Geelong Sustainability Group back wind energy, jobs in Victoria”

RET Road Trip #3: Portland’s renewable energy economy

RET review chair, Dick Warburton, refused our invite to meet Portland's wind workers, so we brought Where's Warbo along!
RET review chair, Dick Warburton, refused our invite to meet Portland’s wind workers, so we brought Where’s Warbo along!

This article was published at Renew Economy

On Wednesday April 23, Friends of the Earth brought its fact-finding RET Review Road Trip to Portland, Victoria.

Previous stops in visited Hepburn/Daylesford and Morwell, provided an insight into community support for renewable energy and the costs of polluting coal energy. Our trip to Victoria’s blustery southwest coast allowed us to investigate the ways in which renewable energy can provide a platform for economic development.

With its vast wind resource, southwest Victoria is among Australia’s most important renewable energy regions.

The area is home to Pacific Hydro’s Portland Wind Energy Project. The four-stage project will see 195MW worth of generation spread over five sites. Once completed the wind energy project will generate enough electricity to power 125,000 homes (a city the size of Geelong).

Drawing on Portland’s manufacturing base and engineering expertise and generating income for turbine hosts and the community, wind energy is an engine for economic activity for Victoria’s southwest.

Portland’s Keppel Prince Engineering is at the centre of the action. Continue reading “RET Road Trip #3: Portland’s renewable energy economy”

New report: Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws cost Victoria jobs and rob regions of investment

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Click here for the report.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have released a new report detailing the economic and environmental costs of Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws to Victoria.

The analysis shows that anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu has hit the wind energy sector hard, costing jobs and investment opportunities for regional Victoria.

The findings of the report – The Biggest Losers

  1. Jobs and regional economies – an estimated loss of 490 construction and 64 ongoing jobs (for the life of the wind farm), as well as the numerous flow-on effects lost to these vacancies (an estimated $10.5m worth of economic activity to rural economies).
    Projects worth over $864million in the past three years alone have either been lost or scrapped due to these laws.
  2. Climate change action – 438MW of wind energy generation capacity scrapped or stalled thanks to the TB laws, designating a loss in state greenhouse gas emissions of around 1.38 million tonnes per annum – enough to power almost a quarter of a million homes.
  3. Regional communities – regional communities have been denied access to the funding set aside by wind farm operations, a figure totalling $806,840 each (or $20.1m over a 25-year period).
  4. Wind farmers – farmers robbed of over $2.1m worth of drought-proof income each year (or $54.2million over a 25 year period).
  5. Local councils – local councils in regional municipalities have been robbed of over $516, 937 (or $12.9m over a 25-year period) in rates from operating wind farms.

The report findings raise fresh questions about the government’s wind farm laws as the state heads to the polls for a November election.

Voters will be paying close attention to where the parties stand on renewable energy. All available polling shows Victorians want more wind farms. The government’s anti-wind farm laws are an electoral liability.

The Labor party has already pledged to ‘rip up’ the Baillieu anti-wind laws. Will Premier Napthine act to restore fair laws for wind farms before it’s too late? Continue reading “New report: Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws cost Victoria jobs and rob regions of investment”

South Australia gets wind energy jobs as Victoria faces jobs crises

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.24.57 AMAustralia’s largest wind farm project has been given the go ahead by the South Australian government just days after Toyota announced its decision to end manufacturing in Victoria.

Victoria now faces a jobs crisis. Jobs created in the wind energy sector would have softened the blow of the declining manufacturing sector. Yet anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu has prevented new projects in the state.

South Australia’s wind energy sector has been the main beneficiary from Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws which took effect in 2011. It’s creating jobs while cutting pollution.

Continue reading “South Australia gets wind energy jobs as Victoria faces jobs crises”

‘Turbine Cowboys’ Review: Melodramatic, But Kinda Cool

Published by www.earthtechling.com. View original article.

When the Weather Channel began promoting “Turbine Cowboys” two months ago, our own Angeli Duffin wrote: “As ratings are critical to any show’s success, we expect ample attention will be given to the dramatic side of the job, but we hope some wind energy education will be mixed in as well.”

Alas, I’m here to report the our educational hopes were not fulfilled, at least not in any significant way. The drama in “Turbine Cowboys,” meanwhile, is mostly of the all-too-familiar Weather Channel junk food variety: Some good footage salted heavily with a repetitive narrative arc, larded with predictable plot turns and then piled high with amped background music and foreboding narration.

image via Weather Channel

This is not to say that “Turbine Cowboys,” beginning a Tuesday night run this week, does not provide some insight into the wind power industry. It’s most profound accomplishment is in bringing home the monstrous scope of the machines, tens of thousands of which now dot the United States, generating close to 3 percent of the electricity we use. Continue reading “‘Turbine Cowboys’ Review: Melodramatic, But Kinda Cool”

Pollie Watch: Shadow energy minister challenges Napthine’s renewables record

The Victorian Labor Party is building a reputation for supporting renewable energy. On several occasions over the last year, shadow energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio has outlined Labor’s stance on renewable energy. At a conference in Melbourne last year, D’Ambrosio critiqued the … Continue reading Pollie Watch: Shadow energy minister challenges Napthine’s renewables record

Victorian govt’s anti-wind farm laws threaten AEMO forecast

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A new Australian Energy Market Operator report forecasts large increase in Victoria’s wind energy capacity by 2020–delivering jobs and investment for regional areas. Unfortunately, the anti-wind farm laws introduced by Ted Baillieu mean the growth is not assured. The laws put the all the benefits of wind farming at risk.

Here’s The Weekly Times with the scoop:

NEW wind energy forecasts by the Australian Energy Market Operator says Victoria’s capacity should lift five-fold by the end of the decade.

In the report, Integrating Renewable Energy – Wind Energy Integration Report, the AEMO forecasts 4090 megawatts of new wind energy capacity in the state by 2020. The increase would lift the state’s installed wind energy capacity from 884MW in 2013 to 4974MW in 2020.
But Friends of the Earth spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said reaching the forecast was not assured.  Continue reading “Victorian govt’s anti-wind farm laws threaten AEMO forecast”

SA Premier praises wind energy manufacturing

South Australia’s wind energy boom is creating manufacturing jobs while reducing carbon emissions. The Whyalla News reports on the latest developments:

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South Australia’s largest wind farm has turned to Whyalla manufacturers to help power its turbines.

The wind tower project is a collaboration between the state government, global technology company Siemens, which is building the wind farm and local manufacturer E&A Contractors.

The first locally-built tower for the Snowtown II wind farm is near completion at the E&A Whyalla plant.

The state government contributed $2 million towards upgrading the E&A Whyalla plant, which led to the company securing the project.

Premier Jay Weatherill, who toured the E&A plant last week said the project demonstrated South Australia’s ability to participate in major technically complex projects using local capabilities.

“This is a great example of how we can make things locally for major projects, working in collaboration with local companies like Siemens,” Mr Weatherill said. Continue reading “SA Premier praises wind energy manufacturing”

Wind power: Solving one world problem after another

Published by Windpower Engineering. View original article.

By Paul Dvorak, Editor, Windpower Engineering & Development.  These views are his own.

UnknownCritics will use any club they can to beat the wind industry. It harms birds, they cry, while ignoring the worse effect of cars, cats, and large picture windows. It’s intermittent, others weep, while ignoring nuclear shut-downs for multi-month repairs. All power producers have shortcomings, but those of the wind industry are far more surmountable than those of others, and its benefits reach around the world. The obvious benefits include producing clean electrical power at reasonable rates.

The jobs created are just as significant. People are needed to design and build the wind turbines, then ship them to the job sites, erect them, and then take care of them. The wind industry has prompted investments in new and more efficient power transformers and switch gear. At each step, different skill sets of many people are employed to advance useful technology. Continue reading “Wind power: Solving one world problem after another”