June 6, 2006

No buyers for wind energy

People often ask, if wind power is so problematic and expensive (not to mention ecologically destructive in its own right), why do so many utilities support it? The simple fact is that they only support it where the law requires them to.

Australia has met a mandate of 2% of the electricity supply from renewable sources, and now, without an increase in the target, utilities are showing no interest in buying more wind energy.

The following is from "Wind farms shelved" in the May 31 Northern Argus.
Millions of dollars worth of Mid North wind farm projects are being shelved because the Australian Government is holding off boosting renewable energy targets.

Only one proposal is likely to break ground by the end of the year and that's because it has its own "built-in" consumer, having been optioned by Australian Gas and Light.

Other wind farms have not been so lucky and have suspended construction until Canberra's politicians extend the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target scheme.

The targets, set by the Federal Government, call for energy suppliers to source two percent of their power from renewable sources.

This target has, however, just about been met leaving wind farm companies with no inducement to continue with their projects as they cannot guarantee the sale of their energy.

An $180 million wind farm at Waterloo ... has been suspended. ...

A proposal by Wind Prospect for a 170MW wind farm of 85 turbines in the Barunga and Hummocks Ranges, west of Snowtown, ... has also stalled. ...

Of the four proposed projects in the Mid North, only the one at Hallett appears to be moving forward.
wind power, wind energy, wind farms