As Australians vote this weekend we are very much at an energy and climate crossroads. The scheme that has driven record levels of investment in wind and solar, the 2020 Renewable Energy Target, has effectively run its course but in 2019, after six years of policy destruction and inaction, we have no coherent federal policy to take its place. This election will be a Climate Election, where voters have the opportunity to break the impasse that has hamstrung action on climate and renewables for the last six years.Read more
In a disappointing move, NSW's Department of Planning and Environment has recommended that the 96 megawatt Crookwell 3 wind farm project not be approved. This project would be built alongside the Crookwell 2 wind farm, which commenced full operation earlier this year.
Wind farms have been a strong source of jobs and investment in the Southern Tablelands over the last decade as well as wider community benefits and this project promises to keep this trend going.
Crookwell 3 has proceeded under three different state planning regimes since its inception in 2010, against the background of a highly uncertain investment landscape. The fact that the Department recommended this project be approved in 2015 just highlights the difficulties industry has faced navigating the challenges of shifting government priorities.
DPE's recommendation now goes to the Independent Planning Commission for consideration. The IPC has the power to accept or reject the Department's recommendation and decide on alterations if it sees fit. We look forward to seeing what the proponent can bring forward to resolve the issues the Department has raised.
For more information, see Reneweconomy
This election, to do what’s best for the climate and for regional Australian communities, there are four critical priorities:
Transforming our electricity system to 100% renewable energy
Best practice community engagement and community investment
Orderly transition from coal-burning power generation
Effective emissions reduction mechanism outside the electricity sector
Let's make this a #ClimateElection!Read more
AWA was pleased to see news of a new battery-boosted wind farm proposed in South West Victoria. If successful, it will be located at an existing pine plantation between Portland and Nelson, close to the South Australian border.
The project's benefit program will be designed in close consultation with the community and could include features such as community enhancement funds, green energy subsidies or potentially co-investment. It reflects a growing level of maturity across the wind energy industry, with other recent projects placing community engagement and benefit sharing as central features in their project design from the outset of consultation.
The $1 billion project will also lead to jobs in the construction and ongoing jobs in the region.Read more
The Australian Wind Alliance recently caught up with the Ballarat based artist, Mairin Briody, to talk about her wind farm inspired paintings. While trying to get her newborn to sleep, Mairin spent time driving around the Mt Mercer and Waubra wind farms and enjoying the calming swish of the blades. It got her thinking...
“I was doing a lot of driving with my newborn trying to get her to sleep and found myself being drawn to wind farms - a good drive for a nap...I’d call them scenes of unbridled optimism...because there’s dozens of them in this field and it just opens up when you get over the final crest.”
“It feels like so often now that we’re just planning for the next election cycle or we’re stagnating with climate policy. I needed optimism....”
"There's people thinking about the future, there's people planning for it...."
Have a look at the video and keep your eye out for more, celebrating the role of wind energy in Victoria. Thanks Mairin for your inspiring art and words.
See more of Mairin Briody's work
Paintings by Mairin Briody shown
The Earth is not a cold, dark place, 02019
The Long Decay, 02018
The Aura and the Echo, 02018
Electric Prisms #1, 02018
Unicorn Heads - Digital Memories
Benjamin Tissot - Betterdays (used with certificate #616655)
Sonia Delaunay, Electric Prisms, 1914
Sonia Delaunay and two friends Paris 1924
Thames Embankment 1879
Filmed at Ballarat and Mount Mercer Wind Farm
With a Labor government now a distinct possibility at the upcoming federal election, Australia may be about to taste what it’s like to have a functioning energy policy again. And that would be good news for wind energy.Read more
Can a historic town remain historic if it hosts a wind farm? And if a town has a historic past does that mean the town is nothing else besides historic? Is history enough to give a town an economic future?
These are some of the questions getting a work out right now in the small towns of Nundle and Hanging Rock, just south of Tamworth.Read more
"The decision to transition our state to renewable energy and address the issue of climate change was made by my predecessor, Mike Rann. What I'll take credit for is not running away when the going got tough.”
Former South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, gave his first public talk on clean energy since leaving office at an event jointly hosted by the Australian Wind Alliance and University of Melbourne’s Energy Transition Hub. Together with his interlocutor on the night, noted environment and clean energy journalist, Adam Morton, Mr Weatherill attracted a packed crowd of around 400 people.Read more
Not many Australians can say they’ve seen first-hand what worsening climate change looks like. When she was overseeing health services on low-lying Saibai Island, one of Australia’s Torres Strait Islands, Christine Giles saw with her own eyes as king tides engulfed houses and lapped around people’s feet.
“It’s insidious, eating everything. There’s just sea all around the houses. It’s very devastating for these communities,” recalled Ms Giles.Read more