Victoria’s Wind Power Setback Policy To Crush Investment

Turbine Image: BigStock

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren says $3 billion in investment would be lost to Victoria as a result of its new planning policy that would further restrict where wind turbines can be established.
The Victorian Government has put planning rules in place enforcing a minimum two-kilometre distance between large wind turbines and residences.
“Carving out large areas of the state as ‘no-go zones’ sends a clear message that Victoria is closed for business when it comes to future wind energy,” Mr Warren said. “More than half of future wind farms proposed in Victoria will not be built as a direct result of this policy.”
The Victorian Government decision was made just prior to a warning from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in its latest Statement of Opportunities report that the state would need to bring forward by 12 months the need for new electricity generation capacity. Victoria has traditionally relied on brown coal for electricity generation – the filthiest of fossil fuels and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
Mr Warren said the setback policy decision was not science-based, “completely arbitrary” and that the “government has effectively introduced major changes to the planning system overnight with no industry consultation.”
The Clean Energy Council represents over 500 member companies operating in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Victorian Government is also currently preparing to phase out the state’s solar feed in tariff incentive for new applications, with an announcement expected at any time
According to information on national solar power solutions provider Energy Matters‘ web site, under current feed in tariff incentive levels that pay system owners 60c per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity created, a 3kW rooftop solar power system installed in Melbourne can provide a financial benefit of up to $1,950 a year.