In a move to further establish a commitment to developing wind farms, the Australian government appointed a working group whose aim it will be to establish a national code.
Australian Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, named the group last week, pledging that the national code will provide a “consistent and transparent framework for community consultation” about the positioning and development of wind farms in Australia.
Mr. Turnbull said: “Wind power certainly has a role in securing Australia’s energy future and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
“It is therefore important that attention be given to finding sites that address both the wind availability requirements of wind developers and the concerns of local communities.
“With the development of a wind code, we are seeking a sensible balance of the relevant economic, environmental and social factors.”
The Australian government says the group has been created to achieve a fair balance of community, rural and local government and wind energy industry, in order to establish a national code that is favourable for the entire nation.
The group will be headed by a senior member of the Australian Department of the Environment and Water, and include a number of representatives from local government, members of environmental organizations as well as a farmer.
“While primary responsibility in these matters rests with state and territory governments, there should be a more consistent approach than currently exists across Australia,” Mr. Turnbull said.
Some environmental experts suggest that Australia is especially well suited to house wind farms.
Over the last years, wind resources have been developed in the south part of the country as well as northern Tasmania.
According to a government document written last year, wind farms in Australia produce an average actual output of 30 to 35%, “making wind an attractive option in the country.”
By Dana Gornitzki
14 September 2007
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