State emissions targets crucial to jobs and growth in regional Victoria: wind industry
VICTORIA’S WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY has today released a joint statement calling on the Andrews Government to set science-based emissions reductions targets to tackle climate change and secure growth opportunities for regional Victoria.
The coalition of 10 wind power companies and organisations, who have large-scale developments operating or planned in Victorian regions including Ballarat, Western Victoria and the Latrobe Valley, made the call in the lead-up to the State Government decision emissions reduction targets.
The decision on Victoria’s first interim targets to cut emissions across the whole economy is to be delivered by 31 March.
Chief Executive Officer of Windlab Roger Price said the climate impacts experienced during summer underscore the need for governments to be “courageous and bold” when tackling climate change.
“We have just experienced one of the most difficult summers in living memory - drought, fires, and multiple record setting extreme weather events. This has resulted from a 1.1 degrees of global warming,” he said.
“We can and must act. We have the technology within the electricity sector to be near zero emissions in less than 15 years.”
“Victoria has been one of the leaders and we need them to remain courageous and bold by committing to 1.5°C Emissions Reduction Targets.”
Managing Director of Westwind Tobi Geiger said that wind energy has a crucial role to play in reducing Victoria’s emissions.
“Renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and pumped hydro projects are ready to play their role in drastically cutting emissions from the electricity sector,” he said.
Westwind is developing the Golden Plains wind farm at Rokewood near Ballarat, which will be the country’s largest wind farm.
The huge-scale renewable energy development will power as many as 500,000 homes and cut emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year. The construction phase will create 700 jobs during the construction phase and 70 ongoing employment opportunities.
Community campaigning group Friends of the Earth says the Andrews government has prepared the energy sector to deliver deep emissions cuts.
“The Victorian Renewable Energy Target is proving that state government efforts to tackle the climate crisis is creating jobs and benefiting the economy,” said Friends of the Earth’s Pat Simons.
Pat Simons says that setting a strong emissions reduction target would open up huge opportunities for jobs, growth and security in regional areas such as Gippsland.
“The South Gippsland coast has been identified as the best place to build the country’s first offshore wind farm Star of the South.”
“Setting science-based emissions reduction targets would allow Victoria to build on the momentum and kickstart a jobs-rich offshore wind energy industry.”
Emissions reduction targets provide huge employment opportunities for regional and rural Victoria, according to Tony Goodfellow, Victorian Organiser for the Australian Wind Alliance.
“Wind energy is already a mainstay of employment in Western Victoria, with over 1500 wind farm construction jobs at the moment,” he said.
“Setting ambitious targets will help provide more regional jobs into the future and boost the economic health of regional communities while moving the state away from fossil fuels.”
For more information or to arrange an interview contact:
Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth, 0415 789 961
Tony Goodfellow, Australian Wind Alliance, 0437 792 168
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