In Queensland, Australia, the local government is clearing the way for greater investment in clean renewable energy generation projects and securing our state’s energy future, with a new law passed in parliament this week.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister, Stephen Robertson, yesterday led the passage of a new Bill allowing the establishment of clean, green projects such as wind farms on the state’s leasehold land.
Mr Roberston said graziers will be free to pursue options for renewable energy projects on pastoral leases, which was not possible before the laws were changed.
The SEQ Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) and Natural Resources Amendment Bill 2009 amends the Land Act 1994 to create new opportunities for Queensland’s renewable energy future.
“We have broadened the lease conditions on large rural leasehold properties so that wind farms and other renewable energy projects can co-exist with grazing and agricultural uses of State leasehold land,” Mr Robertson said.
“Although wind farms can consist of several hundred individual turbines and cover large areas of land, they can be compatible with land used for agriculture and grazing.”
Wind generated electricity is one of the most mature renewable energy technologies.
The Windy Hill Wind Farm on the Atherton Tablelands has the capacity to generate 12 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to supply approximately 3,500 homes or the towns of Atherton and Mareeba.
The Queensland Government has further supported renewable energy generation by releasing the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan, detailing the government’s strategy to harness the state’s renewable energy resources to rapidly grow the clean energy sector.
“The plan aims to stimulate up to $3.5 billion in new investment, create up to 3,500 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 million tonnes,” Mr Robertson said.
“Through this plan we hope to establish a simpler business, regulatory and planning environment in Queensland, giving potential renewable energy investors greater confidence.”
The plan is available on the Office of Clean Energy website, http://www.cleanenergy.qld.gov.au/.