Project Development, Wind Power

Australia Sets Target for Wind Energy

The Australian Wind Energy Association has set a target of 5,000 megawatts of wind power by 2010, which is enough electricity for 2.3 million homes or almost all the houses in the state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

CANBERRA, Australia, AU, 2001-08-13 [SolarAccess.com] The Australian Wind Energy Association has set a target of 5,000 megawatts of wind power by 2010, which is enough electricity for 2.3 million homes or almost all the houses in the state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The aim is to make wind power cheaper and to turn it into a multi-billion dollar industry, says association officials at its conference in Canberra. The wind industry and the environmental group Greenpeace estimate the target would create 10,000 full-time jobs and would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent. The electricity industry contributes 40 percent of GHG emissions in Australia, which are linked with global warming. The government ruled earlier this year that energy retailers must source an extra 9,500 gigawatt hours from renewable energy by 2010, helping to boost demand for alternatives to the main coal and gas-fired supplies. The wind association argues that this target is too low. Total generation from 50 commercial wind turbines in Australia currently is small, compared with 10,000 turbines operating in Germany. Last month, the country’s largest windfarm opened in southwestern Victoria and will generate electricity for 14,000 homes. Australia will generate 72 MW of wind energy by the end of this year and there is growing interest in developing windfarms in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, according to AusWEA president Heinz Dahl. “It is just so blatantly obvious to me, that a country which has amongst the best wind resources in the world, should target this industry for further substantial development and investment,” says Senator Lyn Allison, the Democrats energy spokeswoman. “As (singer) Bob Dylan said, `the answer my friend is blowing in the wind’.”