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Federal States Are Pushing Renewable Energy in Australia

In Australia, the government very often changes, which means that no long-term energy policy has been able to establish itself so far. Nevertheless, renewables are also gaining ground in Down Under, which is mainly due to the federal states and territories that have set and are pursuing their own climate protection targets. In its latest newsletter, the Australian Wind Alliance (AWA) gives an overview of the efforts made by individual states in recent weeks, where hurried action has taken place, some of which has attracted worldwide attention.

Image: NASAImage: NASA

It’s been a rocky few months for wind farms and energy policy, and we’re not in the clear yet. But, there is still of lot to be hopeful about.

Here’s a quick update on what has been going on over the last fortnight across our energy-leading states.

South Australia - one BIG battery

Last week, Elon Musk made good on his bet as the "world's largest" lithium ion battery was officially turned on in South Australia. The battery is paired with the Hornsdale Wind Farm, and was constructed in partnership with the SA Government.

This event marks a significant milestone on the road to 100% renewables, and we're excited to see SA continue to show Australia how it's done on large scale renewable infrastructure.

(Image: AWA Twitter Feed)

Tasmania - COAG decides fate of NEG, keeps it in play

State leaders met Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg in Tasmania at a COAG meeting recently to discuss the National Energy Guarantee and the future of Federal energy policy for Australia. There is still little to suggest the NEG is anything more than a handbrake on the current momentum of renewable energy.

While States are still considering the NEG, we will continue to show our support for the incredible energy policy leadership of states like South Australia, the ACT, Victoria and Queensland. It is this strong leadership and action that is keeping a lid on power prices and ensuring the lights come on when we flick our switches at home.

Whatever the policy ends up being called, Australians know we need more renewables, not less, and we need government policy that reflects that.

Queensland - the sunshine (and wind swept) state!

While counting continues in the remaining couple of seats, it is looking increasingly likely the Labor Party will be returned in Queensland following the recent State election.

What can be said with certainty is that energy policy was front and centre during the election campaign, and a huge number of people rejected the Coalition’s coal-powered vision and instead voted for renewables. Stay tuned, we’re expecting big things in Queensland for renewables in the coming months!

Victoria - leading the way on renewables and community engagement

This year has seen a series of big announcements coming out of Victoria (see map on the right by: By TUBS [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons) about their brand-new Victoria Renewable Energy Target, but this one might just be our favourite.

Last week the Victorian Government released its community engagement and benefit sharing guidelines for its wind and solar auctions. It might be a mouthful, but this comprehensive document will set the standard for community engagement in Victoria and around Australia, into the future.

Prioritising good community practices and ensuring the benefits of wind farms are shared community-wide is a win-win for regional Australia and the renewables industry.


Written by: Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance

Windfair Staff
Australia, AWA, Elon Musk, battery, wind farm, renewable energy

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