Greens delight in inserting more wind turbines into Barnaby's seat | RenewEconomy

Greens delight in inserting more wind turbines into Barnaby’s seat

ACT, NSW Greens visit Barnaby Joyce’s electorate to celebrate jobs and investment from renewables plan the deputy PM called “crazy”.

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New England's local member Barnaby Joyce may be doing a lot more digging.

It is one of the great ironies of Australia’s latest renewable energy boom that the New England electorate of deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce – one of the most ardent and misinformed opponents of renewables in the current government – should be one of the country’s key renewable energy hubs.

And The Greens, the most ardent supporters of a very rapid transition to 100 per cent renewable energy (a goal that the CSIRO and the networks agree is quite attainable), delight in pointing this out.

rattenburyThis week, Shane Rattenbury (pictured right), the ACT minister for climate change and the only Green to hold such a portfolio, and NSW Greens energy and resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham went to Joyce’s seat to inspect the early construction work on the new Sapphire wind farm, a 100MW facility that is being built thanks to a contract signed by the ACT as part of its program to secure wind and solar for the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs by 2020.

They took particular delight in mocking Joyce’s description of a transition to renewables as “crazy”, while at the same time playing host to some of the biggest wind and solar projects in the state. Apart from Sapphire, New England also plays host to the White Rock wind farm and the new solar farm that is being built nearby, and other projects in the pipeline.

“Misinformed fools like deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce are holding regional NSW back from a bright future providing clean energy to power Australian businesses and households,” Buckingham said in a statement.

“Renewable energy is now a big driver of jobs and growth in regional NSW. Imagine the jobs and investment that would happen if the NSW government was as ambitious on renewable energy as the ACT government.”

Rattenbury, who is also leader of the ACT Greens and now responsible for ensuring that the contracts with the 10 wind and solar farms in NSW, Victoria and South Australia are delivered, and that the state meets its 100 per cent target, says Sapphire will create 200 local jobs and generate up to $10 million in economic benefits within the local New England economy.

“It’s disappointing that the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce describes the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity target as ‘crazy’, while his electorate reaps the benefits of a clean energy future,” he said.

“The fact is, the contracts are in place, the projects are getting built and the ACT target will be met on time, at prices that aren’t exposed to the fluctuations of coal and gas.”

Indeed, the ACT may be a net beneficiary. It has locked much of its renewable energy generation at prices around $80/MWh, while wholesale prices across the nation have soared well beyond that. When the prices do jump above the fixed price negotiated by the ACT, the ACT consumers receive the difference.

“This is good news for consumers as well as climate change mitigation, as the ACT government has locked-in a set price for the renewable electricity produced by 10 wind and solar projects, including Sapphire, for the next 20 years,” Rattenbury said.

“This is a way of providing long-term certainty to ACT electricity consumers and helping insulate them from further wholesale price rises into the future.”

The ACT, with the Ararat wind farm now in full production, will be sourcing 50 per cent of its electricity needs from wind and solar. The completion of another two stages of Hornsdale, the Sapphire wind farm, the Crookwell wind farm and another solar farm will take it to 100 per cent by 2020.

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9 Comments
  1. Greenradagast 4 years ago

    When the LNP call business and investment “crazy”, we know there is a fundamental problem in their ideology.

    • Steve159 4 years ago

      They have no problems with their ideology – it is serving them well, which is to look after their fossil fuel mates by disparaging Renewable Energy.

  2. Chris Fraser 4 years ago

    Although we like to poke fun at the anti-lemming Barnaby it’s possible he’s firmly stuck in the renewable closet. He’s also been photographed holding a stainless steel shovel, once used to kick off the White Rock project. Is there hope for him yet ?

  3. lin 4 years ago

    Greens delight in inserting more wind turbines into Barnaby’s seat
    Nice work, beautifully phrased headline.

    • Ian 4 years ago

      That’s right , right up his cracker!

  4. Ian 4 years ago

    I don’t want to sound disparaging of the ACT’s efforts to offset their electricity use with renewables, and they have done a wonderful job of it too, but, theirs has first mover advantage because their contracts are for supply of electricity into the grid at any time of the day compared to their use of electricity from the grid. They do not have to worry about balancing time of generation with time of use, that’s the wider grid’s problem, not theirs. The other states have been ‘crazy’ not to have noticed. ACT has wind farms in South Australia, happily providing for ACT’s tally of renewables, but South Australia has the headache of trying to make renewables generation match demand all the time. They have to consider all sorts of work-arounds, like new gas plants, batteries, interconnecters, solar thermal with storage, off river pumped hydro. Will ACT help solve these problems for the neighbours who host their renewable ventures?

    • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

      There’s less heavy industry in Canberra. It would be interesting to compare the peak load for each state, averaged over a long term.

      • Sunbuntu Ltd 4 years ago

        >averaged over a long term

        What long term?? If you shut a Aluminium Smelter there goes 10% of a states demand. Most Australian smelters are in the most expensive quartile of produces globally.

  5. Joe 4 years ago

    I saw “Crazy Barnaby” on ABC Lateline last friday night where he was frothing at the mouth with indignation after Westpac said NO to funding the Adani / Carmichael mega coal mine. The dude is just insane or is on some hallucigenic drug. Can we make “Crazy Barnaby’s” electorate the first 100% renewables electorate in Australia!

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