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A story on Liberal candidate for Hume Angus Taylor’s stand against subsidies to the wind industry featured on the front page of Tuesday’s Australian Financial Review.
“He argues the scheme, which has prompted a surge in wind energy development, is an inefficient way to reduce greenhouse gases because it costs $75 a tonne to avoid the creation of carbon compared with other cheaper options,” states the story written by Mathew Dunckley and Marcus Priest.
The article said that he was fighting within his party for a broad ranging review and audit of the renewable energy target (RET) scheme.
Mr Taylor’s opposition to excessive subsidies for wind power has been on the public record for some time.
The AFR article highlighted the fact that Mr Taylor has been lobbying politicians on his side of the political fence with a paper he prepared over 12 months ago.
The paper explores what Mr Taylor claims is the high cost of wind energy compared to other alternatives to reduce carbon emissions.
“We can be committed to keeping the RET and also committed to restructuring the RET,” he told the AFR.
“The RET is an expensive way of reducing emissions, and a restructuring of the RET that takes some of that tension away will save money and achieve exactly the same emissions reductions.”
Mr Taylor, in a media statement on Wednesday, indicated that Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt would support a review.
“My job is to ensure the review hits the mark,” Mr Taylor said.
“I am all for reducing global emissions, and have been actively engaged in these debates in my work at a national and international for many years.
“However, I have learnt over the years that pushing up electricity bills to support wind turbines doesn’t make sense.”
Also on Wednesday, the Clean Energy Council issued a media statement on the benefits windfarms bring to host communities.
“Wind farms have the potential to bring more than just clean energy to the local communities of Yass, Boorowa, Collector and Crookwell in New South Wales – they can also inject muchneeded investment and jobs, according to the peak body for clean energy in Australia,” it said.
“A report by leading consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) found that a typical 50 megawatt wind farm pays host farmers $250,000 per year, is constructed by workers who spend up to $1.2 million locally, and contributes up to $80,000 annually to community projects.
“On top of that, each wind farm creates up to 48 direct jobs during construction, and then employs around five staff on an ongoing basis.”
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