The NSW government has been urged to drop its ‘irrational antagonism to wind energy generation’ following the call this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said the IPCC’s demands should put yet more pressure on the NSW Coalition government to drop its opposition to renewable energy such as wind power, which he said that ‘along with energy efficiency, is the most cost-effective emissions abatement measure available in the NSW electricity industry’.
‘Despite the opportunity to build a new industry that creates jobs and economic growth in rural and regional NSW, the O’Farrell government has done everything it can to stymie the development of wind farms,’ Dr Kaye said.
‘The threat of the draft wind planning guidelines has created huge uncertainty for potential investors who are running away from NSW.
‘Dumping existing development proposals into a much more hostile planning regime has convinced international wind companies that, under the O’Farrell government, NSW is open to every business except renewable energy.
‘There are 27 wind farms proposed for NSW and almost all of them are stalled.
‘The technology could create 4,000 new jobs, bring $7.2 billion of investment and cut 28 per cent off the carbon footprint of the state’s electricity industry.
‘Despite the massive benefits, the O’Farrell government has only approved one wind farm in the three years it has been in office.
‘The NSW coalition is driven by a small minority of anti-wind fanatics and a desperate desire to protect coal and gas fired power generation.
‘The O’Farrell government is happy for the opportunity for tens of thousands of new jobs in renewable energy to disappear overseas and NSW’s economy to remain dangerously carbon intensive.
‘The barriers to transition to 100 percent renewable energy are no longer technical or economic. They are political.
‘The O’Farrell government irrational opposition to wind energy is standing in the way of jobs and action on climate change, he said.