Victorian wind underutilised

Wind energy potential is vastly underutilised in Victoria, according to the Climate Change Commission, which has called for more emphasis on renewables in the face of environmental challenges.

Chief climate commissioner Professor Tim Flannery said “we are entering a new chapter of climate change” and Victoria should be making a sharp shift to renewable energy such as wind and solar power, ABC News reported.

Victoria’s current installed wind energy capacity is only a fraction of the total wind resources that could be harnessed, the Climate Change Comission’s Victoria report states.

There are currently ten operating wind farms in Victoria, the largest of which is the Waubra Wind Farm, northwest of Ballarat, with 128 turbines rated at 192MW and distributed over 173km.

Denmark, a country with equivalent average onshore wind speeds, has about seven- times the installed onshore wind capacity.

“Victoria has got fabulous wind resources, the envy of places like Europe and fantastic solar resources too,” Professor Flannery said.

“So the renewable energy capacity for the state is massive and it’s barely being tapped at the moment.

The 12th report of the Climate Change Commission also predicts the number of very high to extreme fire days in the state will increase over the next few decades.