Tasmania, Australia - Wind energy plans to create more Tasmanian jobs

Newly appointed AWEA chief executive visits steel fabrication workshop at Breadalbane.

More Tasmanian jobs could be created through the expansion of wind energy, visiting industry leaders said this week. Newly appointed Australian Wind Energy Association chief executive Dominique La Fontaine yesterday visited the Haywards steel fabrication workshop at Breadalbane. The workshop is building 54 steel wind tower foundations for the Alinta wind farm near Geraldton, Western Australia. Haywards managing director Steve Edmunds said the contract for the 12-tonne foundation structures meant jobs for the region.

Mr Hayward said the contract was worth just under $2 million and followed work on the Woolnorth stage two-wind farm in the North- West. He estimated that about 200 manufacturing jobs had been created across the State through wind energy. More jobs were created constructing the farms but these were short-term, compared to the longer-term jobs in manufacturing. Ms La Fontaine said increased markets for renewable energy would create more jobs in the State. Yesterday she met Energy Minister Bryan Green to lobby for a State-based mandatory renewable energy target scheme, MRETS.

This follows the Federal Government's decision last year to cap the total amount of renewable energy in 2010 at just 2 per cent more than 1997 levels. The alternative energy industry had called for 10 per cent. MRETS is a scheme that requires energy retailers and high-volume energy users to buy a set percentage of electricity from renewable sources. "We are trying to find another way to grow the market for wind energy, and that can be through a State-based MRET," Ms La Fontaine said. "And that would mean more regional jobs, particularly for Tasmania, and greenhouse gas savings for Australia. "It could mean hundreds of extra jobs." Mr Green said the states were exploring ways to establish a state-based renewable energy scheme. He said the issue was becoming critical as the existing scheme expired in 2008.
Online editorial, www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
Australia, Tasmania, wind energy, wind power, wind turbine, wind farm, renewable energy, offshore, onshore, rotor blade

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