Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s opposition to “visually awful” wind farms has frightened the renewable energy industry and may endanger the largest renewable energy project in Australia, thus $2 billion and beyond solar energy and wind farm projects in the northern Queensland.
The blocking of state funding for wind farm by the federal government could affect the 1,200 MW plant which is about to be constructed. The new directive could cut major renewable energy projects in the country.
Abbott’s criticism over wind farm as ugly and noisy could separate Australia from other developed countries like US and China, as they improve on their electrical power industries to accomplish a determined objective.
Tony Abbott’s recent order for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stop investing in wind energy projects has kept Australia’s second energy source behind hydro power.
Chief Executive Officer Roger Price of the company responsible for the project, Canberra-based Wind labs Ltd, said that the directive might prevent the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from giving initial funding for the construction of 1,200 MW Kennedy Energy Park in Queensland, which could make it unattractive for private investors.
“If they’re not there, it doesn’t mean it can’t get done, but I will tell you it’ll be harder,” Roger Price said to Reuters on the sidelines of a clean energy conference in Sydney.
“Every deal takes a lot of work. Having them support a project would ultimately make other finance (easier to secure). People are happy to invest or commit alongside (an existing investor).”
Canberra Windlabs Ltd is still confident that it can get funds for the 1,200MW Kennedy energy Park, which is supposed to be the 10th largest renewable energy power station in the world, providing approximately 80% of the country’s power supply as it conveys green power from 300 km onshore to the coastal region of northern Queensland, close to Townsville, Roger Price included.
Legal expertise has indicated that the Prime Minister’s decree is beyond imagination and has gone beyond the extent where most ministers cannot intervene. But the CEFC is ready to challenge the new directives.
“The CEFC has a pretty clear mandate to invest in established, successful renewable energy technology like wind and solar”, stated Tim Stephens, a professor of international law at the University of Sydney.
“This new directive telling the body not to invest in wind farms or solar possibly could be challenged,” added Stephens.
CEFC Chief Executive Officer Oliver Yates spoke to Reuters that he was waiting for legal suggestions and requirements before challenging Tony Abbott’s stance on the anti-wind energy project decree, but could not specify if he could challenge the directive or not.
“It’s a new organization, it’s new to the government, it’s not surprising,” said Yates, referring to his organization.
Byron K. July 19, 2015.Australia’s war on wind farms threatens biggest renewable project: http://omnifeed.com/article/www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/australias-war-on-wind-farms-threatens-biggest-renewable project/article25586419/: Accessed July 21, 2015
AUTHOR: DOUGLAS YEBOAH