January 13, 2024

AUSTRALIA: Federal Government Halts Offshore Windfarm Citing Unacceptable Ecological Threats To The Region’s Wetlands. Offshore Windfarm Boss Basically Says FU Block Won’t Delay Project.

I don't understand how people who claim to care about the environment don't actually care about the environment. This new "green energy" has nothing to do with saving the planet. It's another money laundering scheme. The green energy company gets paid by the government who gets their money from the taxpaying slaves. Then the green energy company goes bankrupt years later. And then who is left to clean up their environment toxic mess they've left behind? Hmm? and what about all of the harm the so-called "green energy" compnay caused the environment. Will they be forced to restore what the natural habitat they destroyed? Why is everything so twisted? Oil and gas are NATURAL RESOURCES ARE BIODEGRABLE. Whereas, the so-called "green energy" wind turbines and solar panels are not and they are not biodegrable and are actually toxic pollutants to the environment. (emphasis mine)
A Current Affair published November 14, 2023: Offshore wind farm plans spark controversy. A push for clean energy has triggered a raft of allegations of dirty tricks, as the battle over offshore wind turbines intensifies on the Illawarra coast, south of Sydney. 
Discovery UK published August 27, 2019: The Glaring Engineering Mistake That Made Wind Turbines Inefficient. Massive Engineering Mistakes. Scientists and engineers detail the glaring mistake that rendered wind farms inefficient and costly.
Bloomberg News
written by Geeta Pillai
Saturday January 13, 2024

The Australian Federal Government has stepped in to halt the establishment of an offshore wind terminal in Victoria, bringing to the fore a nuanced dynamic within environmental advocacy. The decision, citing unacceptable ecological threats to the region’s wetlands, underscores a notable contrast in the environmental movement’s stance.

Conflict in Environmental Advocacy

Nick Cater, in his discourse, points out the paradox displayed by environmental groups such as Environment Victoria. The organization, which previously ran campaigns against a gas import terminal at Westernport Bay due to potential harm to the Ramsar-listed wetlands, has maintained a conspicuous silence on the proposed offshore wind terminal in the same locale. This dichotomy, the struggle between championing renewable energy and safeguarding biodiversity, is an emerging issue in the environmental sector.

Renewable Energy vs Biodiversity

There has been a tendency among some environmentalists to disregard the influence on natural habitats in their pursuit of green energy infrastructure. This has raised questions about whether the advancement of renewable energy should supersede the preservation of biodiversity. The situation with the proposed offshore wind terminal is a testament to this ongoing debate.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

The controversy surrounding the decision extends beyond this specific case. Past and forthcoming environmental decisions, such as the Lotus Creek wind turbine complex and the Chalumbin Hill wind turbine development, highlight the broader challenge of reconciling environmental protection with the transition to renewable energy sources. It is a challenge that demands careful consideration and a balanced approach.
Sky News Australia published January 9, 2024: Albanese government ‘very committed’ to implementing offshore wind farms.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen says the Albanese government is “very committed” to implementing offshore wind farms. Mr Bowen gave an update on the offshore wind farms after Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek ruled against an offshore wind farm being built at Port of Hastings in Victoria. “The Albanese government’s very committed to the development of an offshore wind industry in Australia, we’ve made that very clear by our actions,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Having declared the Gippsland zone, the Hunter zone, the well-advanced Illawarra, and southern ocean zones just before Christmas I notified those proponents in the Gippsland zones who are proceeding to the next stage. “There is a process underway to issue feasibility licenses subject to the act, so we’re very committed to that.”

Guardian News, UK
written by Graham Readfearn and Adeshola Ore
Tuesday January 9, 2024

The boss of Australia’s most advanced offshore windfarm is confident the federal government’s rejection of a major port facility in Victoria will not delay his project delivering its first electricity by the end of this decade.

The environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, rejected a Victorian government plan to create a facility at Port of Hastings to serve the nascent industry because of “clearly unacceptable” impacts on internationally significant wetlands.

On Tuesday Victoria’s premier, Jacinta Allan, said the state government was reviewing the decision but believed there could be “appropriate mitigations” to reduce the project’s impact on the Ramsar-listed Western Port wetlands.

Star of the South is Australia’s most advanced offshore wind project, with plans to generate up to 2.2 gigawatts of electricity – about 20% of Victoria’s total – from between 120 and 150 turbines off the south coast of Gippsland.

The Port of Hastings project was designed to serve multiple projects. Offshore windfarms need port facilities on land to handle and assemble turbines and foundations.

“They’re absolutely critical for the delivery of an offshore wind industry,” said Charles Rattray, chief executive of Star of the South.

He told Guardian Australia the company’s preferred option was a facility at Port of Hastings but contingency plans were in place.

“We remain confident we can deliver first power around the end of this decade,” he said. “There is no doubt that a dedicated port would help but a lot of [offshore wind] projects globally are delivered through multiple ports.”

Both Geelong’s port and Port of Bell Bay, on the north coast of Tasmania, were being considered as primary construction ports for the project. Operational bases were also being considered at Barry beach marine terminal and Port Anthony in south Gippsland.

“These projects are really complex, big challenges and we will have good and bad news days all the way through,” Rattray said.

Asked if he had anticipated the federal government might reject the Port of Hastings plan, Rattray said: “Environmental approvals for large-scale infrastructure projects are a critical risk that always needs to be assessed. We used multiple criteria assessments and we thought it was important, based on that, to keep multiple port options open.”

He said the project – with an estimated $8bn capital cost – was in “constant dialogue” with the Victorian government.

Allan said the state government would review the decision and remained confident the proposal could be approved.

“Appropriate mitigations that manage and support environmental impacts can still see the project delivered and that’s our view on the Port of Hastings project,” she said.

“We believe that with the right mitigations you can deliver a project like this successfully. We do it in transport projects – there’s a whole range of different projects that go through these assessment processes.”

Speaking in flood-impacted Seymour, in central Victoria, Allan said a mix of renewable energy was vital to support climate action. “We are standing in a town that has had its second major flooding impact in 450 days,” she said. “We’ve got to take action and that is the action we have been taking for some time.

Allan said offshore wind would help the Victorian government reach its targets to have 65% of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 95% by 2035.

“It’s also part of the federal government’s priorities in terms of achieving their own federal renewable energy targets,” she said.

Victoria has a target to generate at least 2GW of offshore wind by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040.

The state’s current generation capacity, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator, is 19.6GW, which includes 7.4GW of coal- and gas-fired power generation.

Star of the South, together with Flotation Energy’s 1.5 GW Seadragon project, also off the Gippsland coast, have been granted major project status by the federal government.

Carolyn Sanders, the head of operations at Flotation Energy, said: “The assessment [of the Port of Hastings project] is a matter for State and Federal Government to work through.

“Flotation Energy will continue to work with all levels of government as well as key stakeholders and potential ports to ensure project readiness.”

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