Library filed under Energy Policy from Australia
South Australia has increasing reliance on wind as a power crisis looms. The national energy market regulator has warned that South Australia is likely to face continued price volatility and “significantly lower” electricity availability with the retirement of two gas and coal power stations and an increased reliance on wind.
The new mandate says: “As part of its investment activities in clean energy technologies, the corporation must include a focus on supporting emerging and innovative renewable technologies and energy efficiency, such as large scale solar, storage associated with large and small scale solar, offshore wind technologies, and energy efficient technologies for cities and the built environment.”
“The CEFC certainly has been making some investments in this area and in that respect has been assisting in supporting the reduction in emissions, but it is a fair question to ask whether it is necessary as an institution, and indeed it was the government’s policy to abolish it. We do not support government banks performing roles that can be performed by the private sector."
Senator Leyonhjelm said he was not opposed to wind turbines in principle, but believed they were poorly regulated and are "making people sick". He said Dr Rapley was a suitable candidate for the committee because as a New Zealander he "has been out of the Australian environment", has extensively studied impacts of infrasound on human health "and is a genuine scientist".
The solution was “somewhere in the sensible centre”. The debate needed to move away from “two groups of people shouting at each other” and recognise that humans were not prepared to give up economic gains for environment outcomes. He said meeting the renewable energy component of the emissions commitment would require the equivalent of 250 40MW solar facilities to be built in a relatively short period.
“I listened to their concerns with a growing sense of unease as they documented a litany of failures by government and the wind industry to address, or even acknowledge, what seemed like genuine issues,” Mr Leyonhjelm said in the Senate about the final report. ...The federal government has agreed to appoint a national wind farm commissioner, and said it would look into the rest of the findings of the final report.
A Senate committee wants the government to establish a panel of independent experts to set standards and monitor the health effects of noise from wind farms, problems that health authorities say do not exist. ...Committee members heard from several people who live near wind turbines who complained of a variety of health effects including tinnitus, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, stress, anxiety, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and fatigue.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten knew he was on to a winner when he declared his backing of a 50 per cent target for renewable energy in Australia by 2030 ...But many questions remain: is such a plan feasible, what's the cost and what's the best way to reach the goal? And how far will it go to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and limiting climate change? That after all, is why Australia and the rest of the world must cut fossil-fuel use.
After cutting the country's Renewable Energy Target by a fifth a month ago, Abbott took the green power industry by surprise by ordering the government's A$10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to stop investing in wind farms, the country's No. 2 clean energy source behind hydropower.
The fate of Australia’s renewable energy target – and the wind industry in particular – is once again in the balance, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised anti-wind cross-bench Senators that he would take action to restrict or monitor wind farms.
Matt Canavan, who has been sitting in on a parliamentary inquiry into wind farms, says renewable energy - particularly wind - is not only expensive, it creates more international than Australian jobs. He believes subsidising the industry with measures such as the RET is a gamble and won't necessarily result in cheap clean energy.
“I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things. …when I’ve been up close to these windfarms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise. What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce, Alan, capital R-E-D-U-C-E, the number of these things that we are going to get in the future … I frankly would have liked to have reduced the number a lot more but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more of these things."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described wind farms as "visually awful" saying he wishes the Howard government, of which he was a member, had never implemented the Renewable Energy Target (RET) policy.
An eleventh hour government decision to retain two-yearly reviews has derailed a new bipartisan agreement that would have reduced the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy production by 2020 to 33,000.
Last week, global funds manager Industry Funds Management, put the renewable energy company, which has wind farm projects in south-west Victoria, up for sale.
Asked if the carbon tax had an impact on disconnections, Ms D'Ambrosio said: "There are a range of factors that have seen an increase in disconnections across Victoria, including cost of energy in Victoria. As reported by the Australian Energy Market Commission last year, Victoria has the highest retail margins compared to any other state in the national electricity market".
In short, if campaigners get their wish and fossil fuels are phased out by 2040, the world will face an energy gap of at least 9.2 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. That is the equivalent of 147 countries with no energy. To illustrate, an energy gap like that would mean that the 56 nations of Africa, the 44 nations of Latin America, the 12 nations of the Middle East and 35 nations in Asia, including China, would have to exist without energy.
A forthcoming Senate inquiry into wind farms has been welcomed by outspoken south-west opponent Annie Gardner, who called for it to include a comprehensive examination of health issues. But the Clean Energy Council described the move as a waste of money in canvassing issues covered by previous investigations.
The new inquiry – the latest in a long list of investigations into renewable energy and wind power – is proposed by crossbench senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day and Liberal Chris Back, all of whom have argued for the abolition of the renewable energy target, which underpins wind energy in Australia.
Tony Abbott has won a deal to transform climate change policy after Clive Palmer agreed to support the government’s Direct Action plan, three months after voting to abolish the carbon tax.