Thursday, 4 April 2013

Wind farms beneficial: Clean Energy Council
3 Apr 2013

According to recent research conducted by the Clean Energy Council, wind farming has reportedly generated more than $4 billion in investment in Australia since its introduction. Much of this investment has been in rural and regional towns.

A report commissioned by the Council by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) found that a typical 50 MW wind farm pays host farmers $250,000 per year, is constructed by workers who spend up to $1.2 million locally, and contributes up to $80,000 annually to community projects.

It also shows that each wind farm creates up to 48 direct jobs during construction, and then employs about five staff on an ongoing basis. The council says that in some areas, like Bungendore near Canberra, wind farms have caused the local population to increase. The population there increased by 24% after the Capital wind farm project was established, but many farmers are still not convinced about the benefits.

Rodd Pahl, a farmer from the nearby town of Collector, says the wind towers create too much noise, impact on health and reduce the value of rural land. "Bungendore has grown not because of the wind farm. It's grown because you've got big defence facilities and because it's a great place to live".

The Clean Energy Council says an opinion poll conducted last year found that 77% of Australians support wind farm developments. The poll, conducted by independent research company QDOS, surveyed 1,200 people, including many from areas where wind farms were sited.