Renewable Energy: The Clean Solution for Australia's Future--Wind Energy in Victoria
It is universally accepted Australia possesses abundant and high quality renewable energy resources. However renewable energy accounts for approximately only eight per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation and about four per cent in the state of Victoria. The limited use of renewables indicates the country’s lag of using clean energy compared to other OECD countries. Because of the heavy reliance on polluting fossil fuels, the electricity generation sector is the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter in Australia and Victoria. The country’s GHG emissions per capita are also among the highest in the world. To move towards a clean energy future, the Australian Government created in legislation a national Renewable Energy Target (RET) in 2009, mandating 20 per cent of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020. Given the short transitional timeframe, significant changes to Australia’s electricity supply system are anticipated to occur. This research focuses particularly on wind energy development in the Australian state of Victoria and aims to identify the opportunities for and barriers to increasing development under the current Victorian wind energy policy framework. A qualitative method is employed and primary data collected through key informant interviews and supported by a literature review and document analysis. Results are categorised into main themes and then analysed and interpreted under respective objectives. Research results show that currently there is an unfavourable policy climate for wind energy development in the state of Victoria. The current stringent wind energy facility guidelines in Victoria may lead to a delay in development. The research findings form the conclusions and provide a range of recommendations for the Victorian state government for future policymaking. Overall the research findings conclude that the related issues including the technical, economic and social aspects require the coordination of the political and regulatory factor if increasing wind energy development is to progress in Victoria. The Victorian government should explore a partnership approach with wind energy stakeholders. In order for the Victorian state to have increasing development of wind energy and help achieve the national RET, seeking policy alternatives that are accountable, reasonable and workable is essential to provide long-term certainty for development and investment. The uptake of renewable energy in response to climate change and GHG emission reduction should be of national significance. Therefore the alignment of all levels of governments on the policymaking for renewable energy use may help achieve a better outcome for Australia.
Advisor: Day, Rosalind
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Renewable; Energy; Wind; Victoria; Australia
Research Type: Thesis