Wind future up in the air with renewable energy target uncertainty

THE developer of the Ararat Wind Farm project believes the federal government’s renewable energy target (RET) review has caused uncertainty among green energy developers, investors and retailers. 

RES Australia is behind the $450 million Ararat Wind Farm to be built on the Pyrenees Highway about 17 kilometres from Ararat. 

Head of development Annette Deveson said the ongoing RET review had stirred uncertainty in the green energy sector. 

“We are working very hard to get the Ararat Wind Farm ready for construction,” Ms Deveson said. 

“But the government is causing uncertainty in the industry and for us.”

The federal government is currently reviewing the RET to examine the operation, costs and benefits of the scheme. 

The RET was developed to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. 

Although a decision had yet to be made about the renewable energy targets, Ms Deveson said the review had caused difficulties for prospective green energy developers. 

“They are not out there in the market looking for new projects,” she said. 

“As a business you are uncertain of your future market.”

Ms Deveson said the potential change impacted on investor confidence. Ararat Rural City Council last Friday made a submission to the RET review to pledge the importance of the project. 

Mayor Paul Hooper said it was likely the wind farm would not be built because of the review. 

“The project will create 13 full time jobs after the construction has finished,” he said. 

“About $75,000 will be put back into community grants.”

Mr Harper said the Ararat community would miss out if the project were to cease.

“We will not see those benefits come to town, nor the long term employment opportunities,” he said.

“The community misses out.”

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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