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Wind energy turns 30!

This year, wind energy in Australia turns 30, and boy, has it come a long way. From the first large scale wind farm (well, it was large-scale in those days), near Esperance Western Australia, this year saw construction of more than seven seriously large-scale wind farms, with more to come next year.

We thought now would be perfect time to take a look at just what wind energy could do in the years to come.

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Kentucky all ears for wind power

What better way to bolster the economic fortunes of a regional community than hosting a wind or a solar farm?

And what better way to entice people out from their homes on a Thursday night than some spot-on information and a top-notch, home-cooked supper at the Kentucky Memorial Hall!

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A crowd of seventy farmers from the Kentucky, Bendemeer, Woolbrook and Walcha communities gathered to hear speakers on community involvement in wind farms and large scale solar projects. Presented by the Australian Wind Alliance, the forum put the focus on local communities - how they can secure financial benefits from the renewable energy boom that is occurring in the New England.

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Turbines coming to Australia’s newest wind district

Topography_of_australia_great_dividing_range.jpgThe Great Dividing Range that runs from Western Victoria all the way up to North Queensland is one of Australia’s windiest areas. All along the range, there are high-altitude areas where the wind blows strongly and dependably. While some of those regions, like Western Victoria and NSW’s Southern Tablelands, have been harnessing those resources with wind farms for years, new regions are now opening to wind turbines for the first time.

The Bodangora Wind Farm near Wellington in NSW’s Central Tablelands will be the first wind farm in that area. Consisting of 33 GE turbines, it will generate 113 megawatts and power approximately 64,000 homes.

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AWA Wind Meet Up: Policy certainty to drive regional growth

If you’re interested in wind power, Victoria is a great place to be right now. The state government has just legislated a VRET - 40% renewable energy by 2025 - and the first auction for 650 megawatts of new wind and solar projects will be opened before the end of the year.

What does this mean for local communities in the state’s wind districts? What changes can we expect to see in our energy market and how would this be impacted if government were to change at the next election?

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Politics trumps renewables. Australians get NEGged again

What can we say. We’d be shocked if we hadn’t been hearing the same ideological spin for so long.

Having commissioned the exhaustive Finkel review that identified more renewables as the solution to our energy woes, the Prime Minister has trashed 12 months of work and consultation and dumped its central recommendation - a Clean Energy Target. In it’s place is a plan that does two things - firstly, it removes incentives for investment in renewable energy and secondly, it throws a lifeline to dirty, unreliable coal plants that need to be closed.

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A 28% “Clean” Energy Target will fail, Frydenberg told.

Some people, it seems, just can’t get over coal, no matter what the cost.

When the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, recommended the government adopt a Clean Energy Target the cry went up from coal-lovers in their party - give us more coal!

That’s why the Australian Wind Alliance joined with 13 other environmental and social justice organisations to call on Minister Frydenberg to stand up to those dinosaurs and make sure there was no room for new coal in their Clean Energy Target.

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Wind farm vision fires up COAG rally

COAGRally_crop.jpgAWA member and wind farm neighbour Dimity Taylor joined an inspiring line up of speakers at a snap rally in front of the COAG meeting last Friday. Organised by Friends of the Earth, the rally brought together a wide range of groups, all calling on the nation's Energy ministers to aim high for an urgent transition to renewable energy.

Dimity hit a chord with her story about how wind power was delivering not just for the planet but for her community. It was noted by a few in the crowd that this is a different story than the one they were reading in the newspapers.

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Engaging communities in the renewable New England

The Australian Wind Alliance visited the New England Region in June to find out how things are progressing with the White Rock and Sapphire Wind Farms.

We met with lots of people and talked farms, communities and wind energy - making the mix work.

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Community show of support at Rye Park Wind Farm PAC

In a bit of a first, half of the speakers at the planning hearing for the Rye Park Wind Farm lined up to speak in favour of the project that they think will bring huge benefits.

The Australian Wind Alliance NSW Organiser Charlie Prell spoke on behalf of the AWA when attended the Rye Park Wind Farm Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) hearing held in Boorowa on March 30. He  also supported the 20 other speakers who spoke in favour of the wind farm at the hearing.

Here’s what he had to say about the day:

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Doubling down on coal

After a week of energy policy talk dominated by the Turnbull government’s outspoken support for new coal power generation for Australia, the independent energy research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance has joined the growing chorus of voices saying, “umm, I don’t think so."

This article reprinted from Reneweconomy outlines why coal is fast becoming yesterday's hero.

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