Wind power seems to be back on the agenda for the federal government which could open the door to new wind farms being constructed across the region.
With Malcolm Turnbull taking over the leadership weeks ago, it appears new wind farms may now be eligible for funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The move differs from the government’s controversial order in July, under former prime minister Tony Abbott, that the $10 billion corporation could not invest in wind power projects. However, national coordinator Australian Wind Alliance Andrew Bray said the change, along with very positive comments in regards to the Renewable Energy Target were boosting confidence in the industry.
Mr Bray said while the government had been talking more positively about wind energy, there was still a plan in place to abolish the Clean energy Finance Corporation.
“The overarching context is that the government policies are still their policies,” he said. “So while the talk is good, we really need to see those policies dropped to show the government support for wind energy is rock solid. There is no doubt having Malcolm Turnbull in charge instead of the anti-wind ex-PM is a real shot in the arm for confidence in the wind sector.”
Ms Bray said finalising the renewable energy target and the support from both sides of politics had generally improved the confidence of the industry.
A number of major wind projects across the Ballarat region already have planning approval but are waiting on financial support.
This includes a massive 157 turbine development planned for Stockyard Hill.
“It is a critical signal to the energy retailers that they need to start investing in wind farms straight away,” Mr Bray said.
“We would hope to see some of the projects around Western Victoria proceed to financial close.”
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