Wind power is gaining popularity across the world. It is one of the promising forms of renewable energy. Wind power is environment-friendly, do not emit greenhouse gases and reduces dependence on fossil fuels and kerogene gases. South Australia has high potential to harness wind as an energy source. There are over 50 wind farms in Australia out of which 13 farms (with an installed capacity of 1018 megawatts) are located in South Australia. It is due to the region’s proximity to the Roaring forties. As of April 2011, South Australia meets 51% of the nation’s wind turbines installed capacity. As of October 2011, South Australia’s wind power projects generated 1,205 MW of electricity which accounts to 21 % of state's energy production. Australian Government is constructing an additional 184 MW of wind farms.
As of December 2011, Canunda, Bluff Range, Brown Hill Range, Clement’s Gap, Cathedral Rocks, Mount Millar, Lake Bonney, Snowtown, North Brown Hill, Starfish Hill, Waterloo, Wattlepoint and Hallett Hill are some of the places where wind power projects have been commissioned in South Australia.
South Australian Liberal leader Isobel Redmond finds wind power to the least efficient among all the renewable sources of energy. She has committed to protect residents from the possible social, economic, and health impacts of wind power if the Liberals won the 2014 election. In her second liberal policy, she announced the following key elements:
The Australian Government is determined to reduce dependency on traditional fossil fuel by 2020.They are working towards alternative energy sources. Solar and geothermal energy production projects are close to being competitive but these are not commercially ready yet. They will take many years to 'scale-up' to become major sources of energy. Biomass is being used to generate electricity, but its capacity is limited. Wind power is the only economically competitive form of sustainable energy. The west facing coasts of South Australia are perfect for wind power projects. Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula and Yorke Peninsula are ideal sites for wind farms construction. However, certain factors are limiting the growth of the wind industry. There is lack of electricity transmission lines where they are needed. Governments are more willing to build transmission lines to new coal mines, but unwilling to install new lines for the sake of large-scale development of wind farms. Kangaroo Island was well suited for wind turbine development. However, the region lacked the power transmission infrastructure. Recently, a section of the local population is opposing to the building of new wind farms on questionable claims that wind turbines cause ill-health. This can seriously dampen the future of wind energy projects. In South Australia, wind power's potential is more than 91 GW. The government should use its renewable policy instruments to impose carbon tax on fossil fuel usage and provide subsidies for establishing wind farms. Australia's Clean Energy Council (CEC) has launched the campaign 'power in wind' to promote wind energy as the most cost-effective renewable energy source. This organization aims to provide the local community with information to nullify the influence of anti-wind campaigners.
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