Impact on People and Australia / New Zealand
The winds of change that swept the Baillieu government to power in Victoria could see an exodus of renewable energy producers from the state.
Wind farm developers yesterday warned that Victoria would lose investment due to a Coalition policy enforcing a 2km exclusion zone between houses and wind turbines.
Angry farmers are demanding wind farms bury their power lines.
Hundreds of turbines have been proposed throughout the Ballarat region.
While many residents have accepted that wind farms will be a part of life in the area, they say the companies building them should foot the bill to put the power lines underground.
Wind farm policy is shaping as a turbulent federal election issue in Moorabool.
Endorsed Liberal candidate Mark Banwell has called for a moratorium on building more wind farms until more details are known about their impact on peoples health.
While Ballarat federal Labor MP Catherine King acknowledged residents concerns, she said presently the approval of wind farms rested with state and territory governments.
In a dramatic win for residents' groups who have raised widespread concerns about the impact of wind farms on rural communities, the committee recommended that noise measurements be expanded to include low-frequency noise, or infrasound.
Wind power - the great green hope to ease fragile electricity supply - is being buffetted from all sides.
Wind farm neighbours, courts and economics are hammering away at plans to expand the industry which now provides around 3 per cent of our power but is forecast to grow to 20 per cent within the next 15 years. Wind's main proponent, state-owned Meridian Energy, is likely within the next few days to announce it will fight an Environment Court ruling which killed off one of the biggest wind farms in the world.
A two kilometre buffer zone from houses would make the proposed Glen Innes Windfarm unviable according to the project's developers, however they say they are hopeful of negotiating a compromise with critics of the project.
The public response follows a pattern of general acceptance of a wind farm being developed in an area, and even tolerance of a second one nearby.
"But when subsequent wind farms are proposed in the same geographic area, public support is often replaced by strident opposition," Wellington landscape architect Boyden Evans told the Ngaruawahia hearing.
In the case of Wel Network's Te Uku proposal, it is following on the heels of Ventus' 22-turbine Taumatatotara project and the 42-turbine Taharoa C project (subject to Environment Court appeal) slightly to the south. ..."It is not surprising that landscape and especially visual issues are at the forefront on the siting of wind farms because people typically describe their feelings and experiences about places in terms of landscape, and, in particular, in terms of what they see." ..."Experience elsewhere in the country shows that opposition groups are becoming increasingly well networked and feed off each other's information."