One of Australia’s biggest wind farm operators said investment in the sector will be threatened if the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is cut substantially.
Stage two of the nation’s second-largest wind farm was officially opened in South Australia in November, with 137 turbines now capable of generating enough power for 180,000 properties.
However, the wind farm’s operator, Trustpower, has expressed concern future investments across Australia are under threat because the Federal Government is keen to scale back the legislated RET.
Trustpower chief executive Vince Hawksworth said any reduction would be a blow for the renewable energy sector.
“The industry would shrivel, the intellectual property would be lost, international investment wouldn’t hang around,” he said, as reported by ABC News.
Following the opening of the wind farm, South Australian premier Jay Weatherill said the state’s goal of generating 50 per cent of its electricity through renewables by 2025 could be compromised if the RET is cut.
“Projects like this would cease to be viable and will cease to operate, so it’s not just about new wind farms, it’s about the ongoing future of existing wind farms,” he said.
The SA Government said other energy projects such as the $1.5 billion Ceres wind farm project on Yorke Peninsula would be adversely affected if the federal RET is reduced.