One of the main problems that show up when a wind farm is proposed is that
people tend to see it as something
being imposed on the local community; there is a need to provide the
communities with more of a sense of some sort of 'ownership' of the projects.
For example, when the
Crystal Brook Wind Farm
was proposed to come within about 4km of my home town
I was disappointed to find a number of the local people, even some of those I
thought to be environmentally minded, opposing the project.
I think there are more effective solutions; if the wind farm developers want to take the trouble.
In Denmark and Germany
community-owned wind farms are common, and this seems to have made
the developments much more acceptable to the local people; but in Australia
community ownership is very unusual.
(As I write there are three community owned wind farms:
Mount Barker, WA; and
another proposed at
If there was a will among wind farm builders this situation could easily be
At the proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm in NSW Infigen has suggested that one of the turbines could be owned by the community. A major problem here is that the whole of the cost of one turbine must be raised, and no more than that. What to do if the local people want to invest only a half that much money, or what if they want to invest an amount equal to the cost of one and a half turbines?
If the wind power company operating the wind farm did not want to be directly involved in payments to the share holders, or in buying and selling shares, a cooperative could be set up to handle these matters.
Of course something more than a simple proportional share in the profits could be offered to the local residents if it was desired to make the investment very attractive; or perhaps bonus shares might be offered to nearby residents – the closer the resident, the more bonus shares. People who were not locals could also be included; but in this case, for the sake of ease of administration, higher minimum investments might be imposed; perhaps $5000.
An advantage of this model would be that the shares could be made available to nearby residents even after the wind farm was fully operational; so that those who missed out earlier because of cash-flow problems, or those who had a change of heart, could still become involved.
|As mentioned above, wind power is popular among the great majority of Australians. However, a number of vocal anti-wind power groups have sprung up. There is a need for organising the pro-wind power people and recently an organisation called the Victorian Wind Alliance has been created to fill this need. As a South Australian I would like to see a similar group formed in my state. (If you are interested in being involved, please get in touch – my email address in near the top of this page.)|
Popularising wind powerAkademia Wiatru; a Polish site – "the mission of the akademii wiatru, in addition to popularising wind energy, is increasing the knowledge and competence of all of within its scope".
Community ownershipenergy4all, UK; "Delivering Community-Owned Green Power" uses a system of community-owned cooperatives in each of a number of wind farms in the UK. The wind farms involved are mostly much smaller than typical Australian projects. The Dunbeath Wind Farm in Scotland seems to have more in common with potential Australian projects than most of the other Energy4All enterprises. Shares on offer range from £250 to £20 000 (Aus$390 to Aus$31 000).
A New Model for Community Renewable Energy Projects; CENREC. "The concept is simple: a local community co-operative has established to raise funds and purchase a wind turbine in a commercial wind farm development project. CENREC proposes to purchase a wind turbine in Infigen Energy's proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm project."
Is co-operative energy the solution to climate change? Published in The UK Guardian. "In fact green energy co-ops are now one of the fastest growing parts of the UK co-operative sector having grown by 24% in the past four years."
100% Renewables for
Australian Wind Alliance
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Beyond zero emissions net page and on Facebook
BREAZE – Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions
Citizen's Climate Lobby: Australia
Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network
Crystal Brook Energy Park; Neoen's page on the project
Doctors for the Environment, Australia
Fossil Fuel Free Future
Friends of the Earth
Report of IRENA; the International Renewable Energy Agency, 2017
Repower Port Augusta
Save The Planet net page and on Facebook
The Sustainable Hour, Geelong radio
Wind Turbine Syndrome, exposing the anti wind misinformation 'industry'
A letter to my great-grandchildren|
Climate change in the Australian context
Climate change in the international context
Climate Walk – a million-step walk to try to get action on climate change
Crystal Brook Energy Park supporters
Ethics and My ethics
Images with messages
Invalid arguments in opposition to wind power
Land values and wind farms
Mid North SA leading Australia in new renewable energy
Northern SA renewable energy projects
Opposition to wind power and to coal
To oppose wind power is to support killer coal
Why accept climate science?
Why oppose a wind farm?
Why support wind power?
Wind Energy Opposition
Wind power in Australia
Wind Power Cost
Wind power problems
Wind turbines and health
Wind turbine noise
Youth of the Year Speech from a girl who lived three kilometres from turbines
A more practical model|
Wind power support group