Proposed Policy Threatens Wind Power Investment In South Australia

Turbine Image: BigStock

Australia’s Clean Energy Council (CEC) says the South Australian Opposition’s policy on wind farms would threaten more than $3 billion of investment and result in a further increase in electricity prices in the state if implemented.
   
South Australian Opposition leader Isobel Redmond has vowed to ban wind farms within 2 kilometres of any residence. Another key element of the Liberal’s policy is a ban on wind farms within 5 kilometres of townships.
     
Clean Energy Council Acting CEO, Kane Thornton, said wind power projects currently proposed for South Australia would provide for the electricity needs of more than 567,000 homes and create 948 direct jobs.
  
“As we’ve seen in Victoria, such measures would effectively make South Australia a ‘no-go’ zone for wind farms, driving billions of dollars of investment from the state. In addition, South Australians would see higher electricity prices as future renewable energy will need to come from higher cost sources,” said Mr. Thornton.
  
Mr. Thornton pointed out over 20 per cent of South Australia’s electricity is generated by wind power and the wind industry is one of the reasons the state’s carbon emissions fell by 18 per cent over the past five years.
  
In August last year, then-Premier Mike Rann said South Australia was home to 54% of Australia’s wind power capacity, 5 times more per capita than Victoria and 10 times more than New South Wales.
  
While Ms. Redmond reportedly claims wind turbines are being installed “willy-nilly with no accountability“, the CEC states current guidelines ensure a proper balance between wind farm developments and community in South Australia. 
  
The CEC says it will work with the South Australian Liberal Party to “ensure they understand the value of the wind industry to the state, and to provide them with a more complete understanding of wind farms and associated issues.”