News from Australia

The latest on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target      

The Australian Government commenced a scheduled review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in early 2014, which has so far included an issues paper and submission period which has now closed.

The Clean Energy Council released modelling from leading energy market analysts that found future power prices will be lower with the RET in place than without it. The report’s release received a lot of media attention, with stories in many major newspapers and on radio stations across the country.¬†Visit the Clean Energy Council website to download the report and associated materials including a fact sheet and infographics

Australian Medical Association (AMA) statement on wind farms and health

The AMA put out a statement in March that said:¬†”The infrasound and low frequency sound generated by modern wind farms in Australia is well below the level where known health effects occur, and there is no accepted physiological mechanism where sub-audible infrasound could cause health effects.”

The Clean Energy Council said in a media release that the statement should provide additional peace of mind for communities living in the vicinity of existing or proposed wind power projects. Visit the AMA website to view the statement.

National Health and Medical Research Council information paper

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released its draft information paper on wind farms and health in March, which found that there is no reliable or consistent evidence that proximity to wind farms or wind farm noise directly causes health effects.

The Clean Energy Council said in a media release that the NHMRC draft position statement is in line with advice from other Australian state health departments, which have stated that noise below the hearing threshold cannot affect people’s health.
To read the draft information paper, visit the NHMRC website.

Australian Capital Territory developments

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is home to Australia’s capital city of Canberra, announced a plan to amend its large-scale feed-in tariff law to support the development of 200 megawatts of large-scale wind energy projects to help achieve the territory’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The announcement confirms an expansion of the amount of renewable energy generation in the territory from 210 megawatts to 550 megawatts, enough to achieve the mandated 90 per cent renewable energy target set last year.
For more info see the ACT’s website.