Wind energy and answers in short supply
Wind power is a problematic energy source, requiring constant back-up from conventional generation as fluctuating winds vary output by up to 70 per cent. It produces a third of installed capacity at best. The loss of the 79-megawatt Dollar wind farm adds to the challenge of offsetting the 100 megawatts needed for a desalination plant - that calls for a 300-megawatt wind farm. In addition to the wider inconsistencies of state policy on climate change, there are questions about wind farms' reliability, cost, siting and commercial viability. The state is offering few answers, only vague assurances that all is well even as its targets recede into the future.
August 20, 2007
by Editorial Staff
in The Age
AGL Energy's decision to pull the plug on a $140 million wind farm in south Gippsland has ended years of uncertainty for the local community. Last week's announcement was made minutes before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was to hear their appeal. While residents of Dollar claimed victory, at significant financial and personal cost, Victorians have still been left in the dark. The project had been exempted, contrary to earlier promises, from an environmental effects statement and normal planning processes. It was referred to a special panel, which received more than 1500 submissions and completed its work in May... [continue via Web link]