Victoria is likely to be a major beneficiary of the new
mandatory renewable energy target, according to an assessment
of wind energy prospects by Australia's
electricity generation industry.
In a presentation to a New South Wales energy conference, the
National Generators Forum has estimated that the expanded MRET
to be introduced by the Rudd Government may require as much as
5,000 megawatts of wind capacity to be developed in
The Government's policy requires 20 percent of national
electricity consumption to be sourced from renewable energy by
The NGF estimates that this will require 60,000 gigawatt hours
of power to come from renewable energy in 2020. Of this, it
says, 15,000 GWh can be sourced from existing renewable
projects, almost all hydro-electric. Another 9,500 GWh will
come from projects developed under the Howard Government's
MRET. This leaves 35,500 GWh to be provided annually from 2020
from new renewable sources.
The NGF believes that the additional power will be provided
mainly from wind energy, with some contribution from
geothermal sources towards 2020. This, it says, will require
construction of between 10,000 and 15,000 megawatts of wind
power. Based on the use of 2MW systems, adds the NGF, this will
require between 5,000 and 7,000 turbines to be installed
The NGF sees little scope for wind farm development in
Queensland and believes that Victoria and South Australia will
each provide 5,000 MW of wind capacity, with whatever balance
is needed being built in Tasmania, New South Wales and
The 2007 Energy Supply Association yearbook lists 132.7 MW of
energy being operational in five wind farms in Victoria and
lists another 1,402 MW of capacity in 10 wind farms being
under development or in the planning process. On the
NGF estimates, this still leaves scope for development of more
than 3,500 MW of additional capacity in the State over the
next 12 years.
The Generators Forum says the wind farms will be distributed
across a wide geographical area on the southern coast of
Australia and it suggests that this will raise technical
issues for the existing high voltage transmission, which has
been designed to deliver electricity from large power stations
to urban areas.
The NGF argues that there is a need to re-examine the national
electricity market's transmission congestion management
arrangements and that there will be a requirement for
"greatly expanded" standby capacity. This, it adds,
raises the issue of the introduction of standby capacity
The Rudd Government has agreed a development plan for
introduction of the new MRET with the States through the
Council of Australian Governments. It involves a CoAG
committee presenting a scheme design to the Council at its
September meeting and for regulations for the new MRET to be
ready early next year.
Rod Gillam leads the firm's energy law practice and he has
extensive experience in advising a range of energy industry
participants on a large number of significant commercial matters
including acquisitions, regulatory compliance, connection
agreements, power purchase agreements and ISDA contracts.
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