Monday, 28 March 2011

Chilly reception for wind farm changes

Summaries - Australian Financial ReviewI
21 March 2011

The Victorian state government's change to planning regulations for wind farms, whereby it has handed much of the control over to local councils, could spell the end for a number of proposed projects, according to the renewable energy industry. Andrew Richards from Pacific Hydro said his company was not taking on any new projects and the fact that wind farms were now subject to stricter regulations than coal fired or gas fired power stations was 'unbelievable.'

Shaq Mohajerani from Union Femosa Wind Australia said he was in favour of community consultation. But uncertainty over legislation would make it difficult to attract investment, while Origin Energy, which was granted approval by John Brumby's Labor government for the Stockyard Hill wind farm, would not comment. Matthew Guy, Victorian Planning Minister, said the National Party had nothing to do with the decisions, president of the Municipal Association of Victoria, Bill McArthur conceded some projects may be blocked for political reasons, and Chris Schulz from Allens Arthur Robinson said projects would be abandoned or head to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.