A mighty wind – turbine power growth hit 40 per cent last year
August 9, 2010
Wind power generation across the eastern states grew by 40 per cent last year as several large farms began operating.
A Climate Group report on electricity generation and its emissions, covering all states except Western Australia, found 83 per cent of power used in 2009 came from greenhouse-intensive coal. Nine per cent was from renewable sources – mainly hydro power – and 8 per cent from gas.
The biggest growth from renewable sources was from wind turbines, which fed 4.1 million megawatt hours into the national electricity grid. The increase was boosted by the opening of the largest wind farm at Waubra, north-west of Ballarat.
Wind supplies about 2 per cent of total power across the eastern seaboard. This is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade as wind farms are built to meet the bulk of the national 20 per cent renewable energy target.
The growth in renewable power last year meant emissions were about 2 million tonnes lower than if the electricity had come from coal.