Articles filed under Energy Policy from Australia / New Zealand
It appears investors have been spooked by policy uncertainty, despite an RET subsidy of almost $80 a megawatt hour, which comes on top of the $40-$60 a MW/h that generators are typically paid for participating in the National Electricity Market.
If Frydenberg does not give EPBC approval for Dundonnell he can expect a fiery backlash and accusations of turning his back on renewables and new economy jobs. If he does give EPBC approval Frydenberg will be accused of grand-scale environmental vandalism against the Victorian brolga, which is listed as threatened and nests at the proposed wind farm site.
The confidence that everyone had expected to return to the renewable energy sector following the demise of Tony Abbott, is yet to come to fruition. Investors spent just $15 million since February 2014 on big wind, solar or other clean energy projects that were not otherwise supported by government programs.
Investment in large-scale renewable energy in Australia remains stagnant almost two years after the Abbott government began a review of the sector, according to an annual survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investors spent just $15 million since February 2014 on big wind, solar or other clean energy projects.
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".