Draft guidelines for wind farm developments in NSW

Two days before Christmas NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard released a draft of “the toughest guidelines in the world” for wind farm developments in this State (details of where to find a copy at the end of this post). CANWin member David Tranter kicks off our discussions in this post. You can click “Leave a comment” (under the title) to add your thoughts.

The  NSW Government Draft Wind Turbine Strategy states that it supports Australia’s commitment to deliver 20% of the nation’s energy needs by 2020. If this is true, then the primary goal of the strategy should be to establish a level playing field. Up till now, fossil fuel industries have been implicitly subsidized by allowing them to offload their environmental costs to society.

The Government’s proposed Wind Farm Strategy doesn’t just perpetuate that inequity; it exacerbates it. It proposes an elaborate system of regulations for wind farms, which is not applied in equal measure to fossil fuel industries and will eventually prove to be counter-productive. How could any reasonable person believe that a wind turbine is more unsightly than high voltage transmission towers and power lines snaking inexorably across the rural landscape?

Could Government be attempting to pick winners? Why are the regulations it proposes for wind turbines not being applied to coal seam gas installations? Apart from rupturing the integrity of the Australian Artesian Basin, the life-blood of the inland, coal seam bores leak methane into the atmosphere. Since methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the industry’s claim that it is cleaner than coal is open to question.

Is there some hidden agenda here? It beggars belief that government could be so careless or irrational. Is it possible that the well-heeled, coal-seam gas lobby sees the embryonic wind turbine industry as a potential rival? Is it lobbying government heavily to cripple the development of wind power on the grounds of trumped-up, turbine-specific public concern?

You can download the draft guidelines from the “On Exhibition” page on the Dept of Planning website. Copies are also on exhibition until 14 March 2012 at the department’s Sydney office (23-33 Bridge St. Phone 9228 6416) and its regional offices (addresses and phone numbers on the Department’s website) and regional councils.

14 responses to “Draft guidelines for wind farm developments in NSW

  1. [Moderator: The original post is about the State government’s draft guidelines on wind farms. Discussion of climate science is off topic and has been removed. Popeye, you’re welcome to comment again on this or any other topic if you keep your remarks civil and on topic. But don’t expect to be taken seriously if you quote the Daily Mail as an authority.]
    Goodbye (cause the banter is boring and I don’t expect ANY intelligent answers to my very reasonable questions) and cheers,

  2. cburniston

    Oh dear someone has got off the track. Your comment “How could any reasonable person believe that a wind turbine is more unsightly than high voltage transmission towers and power lines snaking inexorably across the rural landscape?”. I am a reasonable person and I do not agree. Wind turbines would be providing local jobs and income for rural communities. Anyone with a farm knows how hard it is to make a living off the land. Diversify their income is their best protection against being driven off the land. Also these renewable power stations would be providing local jobs. Families would not have to live life with mum or dad flying and out of mining site. I can not believe that you do not support rural Australia.

    The climate debate always reminds me of when society first started to argue about if smoking causes cancer. Great little article at http://www.hemonctoday.com/article.aspx?rid=37712 Joanne nova plays the physician very well maybe we could even get her to say “20,679 physicians say ‘Luckies are less irritating”.

    Anyway your last inspiring rant was regarding CO2 content. Humans only create 3% of the CO2 emissions well done but I think we all knew that. What you failed to mention was that every year the earths atmosphere removes all of the CO2 it produces. Humans are adding CO2 without removing any and this is building up every year. http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

    The old Water Vapor excuse. Yes it has been looked up and studied maybe you should brush up on it http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

    Anyway it has been a pleasure. Do you live in NSW or maybe the Southern highlands?

  3. The ONE thing that you have missed (and all warmists do).

    CO2 can ONLY WARM the earth (remember it is a “greenhouse” gas).

    So, since the earth’s CO2 content is 97% natural what do YOU think we should do about this natural portion. Forget about the PALTRY 3% that is man’s contribution – not much value in doing anything about what we contribute when 97% isn’t ours!

    Also, I’ve included a link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth%5Dlink%5B/) which MAY help you better understand the makeup of the earth’s atmosphere. (Yes – I know it’s only WIKI but I thought that might be something you can agree with).

    Check out the PII chart on the RHS – note they’ve had to expand the chart just so you can see the CO2 portion (it’s THAT small). Then think about how small the slice for man’s contribution at 3% of CO2 would be. Absolute piffle that this micro amount would have ANY affect on our temperatures.

    When I went to school we were actually taught Physics and we were taught that the earth’s atmosphere comprised 80% Nitrogen and 20% Oxygen – all the other gases were “also rans” and MINUTE in comparison – the graph shows this to be true!

    One last thing – please do yourselves a favour look up what water vapour does – it may surprise you (not to mention the Sun).


  4. You don’t need to be bored Popeye. If Olive Oyle is busy with diesel you could try explaining why you think the Zero Emissions plan doesn’t deal with the issues that Inhaber’s recent paper apparently raised. I say apparently because it’s paywalled and I haven’t seen it. I’m going mostly by the post about it on brave new climate.

    If you want to prolong the discussion, put some substance into your comments.

  5. I have ACTUALLY read the link to Zero Emiisions, hence my comments in the post above.

    You obviously haven’t even bothered to read my links or you would be much more informed than your post demonstrates.

    The link I provided (if you bother to read it) provides AMPLE reasoning why renewables are NOWHERE near being able to provide baseload electricity.

    And let’s not even go anywhere near the science of AGW and too much man made CO2 in the atmosphere – yep the science (religion) of the current “true believers” plainly just doesn’t stack up.

    You know what SMO – this is getting boring (REAL boring) – better sharpen up!!


  6. The links haven’t changed – you sure you clicked straight?
    It would help the conversation if you could provide a more detailed critique of the Zero Emissions and other plans for 100% renewable energy than just calling their work fairy tales. Banter is fun, but it’s more fun when it’s informed.

  7. SM Oates,

    Thanks for fixing the links – I have now had an opportunity to peruse the Zero Emissions website and read some of their “fairy tales”.

    I note this quote on high speed trains “The trains can be powered through electrified rails, offering zero emissions transport when combined with 100 per cent renewable energy built into the existing electricity grid.”

    Not in your OR my lifetime – (without nuclear – but that’s not on the table – is it?). See my link above for reasons as to why it WON’T work on renewables.

    BTW – I enjoy the banter so please don’t disappear on me.


  8. The spinach is ALWAYS fine – thanks for asking.

    If ANY of your links on the RHS worked I may be able to divulge myself of your wonderful fairy tales/stories.

    I just can’t wait to see how you’re going to perform the IMPOSSIBLE (see here – http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/lessons-in-wasting-money-use-more-wind-and-solar-and-emit-just-as-much-co2/)

    Be interested in your take on Herbert Inhaber’s studies!

    Many thanks & cheers,


  9. Nice to see I’ve been “moderated out” and that free speech is stifled on this blog. Oh, that’s right, that’s what YOU do when you can’t stand the TRUTH!!

    Let’s face it – wind/solar/tide/geothermal will NEVER provide base load power and you are FOOLS if you think otherwise!!

    At least I know that you [Not so polite term removed. Mod] had to read my post before you removed it!!


    • Hi Popeye, How’s the spinach?

      Sorry your comment was delayed. Free speech isn’t stifled here. It’s just that your first comment came on one of this summer’s rare sunny days and everyone must have been outside.

      The beauty or ugliness of wind turbines is a matter of personal taste. However the ability to power a modern society with renewable power is a matter of engineering, economics, and politics. Have you looked at the Beyond Zero Emissions plan for stationary energy (link in sidebar), or the plans prepared by other major organisations? They have all considered the issue of base load power: how about you take a detailed look at what they say. If you find they’re right, you can have more confidence in the future. If you find they’re wrong, you’ll be helping solve problems before they arise.

  10. “How could any reasonable person believe that a wind turbine is more unsightly than high voltage transmission towers and power lines snaking inexorably across the rural landscape?”

    Are you [politely spelt adjective removed. Mod] JOKING?? They are the UGLIEST things I have ever cast my eyes upon AND we still need HV transmission towers anyway.

    BTW – if/when solar and wind can compete with coal/gas/nuclear or whatever WITHOUT subsidies then I might be in a position to support renewables – but the windmills would STILL BE UGLY!!


  11. Simon Romijn

    Is CanWin going to make a formal submission in respect to the proposed changes to the guidelines affecting wind farm development?

    Simon Romijn

    • cburniston

      Hi Simon

      It was great seeing you at the meeting. Yes I would like CANWin to make a formal reply and the only way that is going to happen is if we draw one up for CANWin. Would you be interested in compiling something together? responses are due before the middle of March. I will send you an email now.

      Thanks for the great suggestion


  12. cburniston

    It creates an unequal playing field against Coal and CSG mining. Another Kick in the guts for the Renewable Energy industry, regional jobs and regional economies.