Reaping the rewards of wind energy with Tanya Jackson
Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source for electricity generation in Australia. Tanya Jackson — a key coordinator of the recently established Ararat Wind Farm — believes that although Australia lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to utilising renewable energy; our increasing desire to access renewable resources should see Australia become a global leader in the field.
At next month’s All-Energy Australia conference, Jackson — the communications and company services manager of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) — will outline how wind energy projects generate beneficial economic impacts in the communities in which they operate.
“I will be presenting how the Ararat community has benefited economically from the construction and ongoing operation of the 240 MW, 75-turbine Ararat Wind Farm. I will deliver this presentation together with John Noronha from Essential Economics, who assisted me in undertaking the economic cost-benefit analysis,” said Jackson.
“This is vitally important for every project, as without community and political support, it is extremely difficult to proceed with development and construction. By providing facts and figures that quantify the benefits of our projects to local communities, we are providing stakeholders with credible information to showcase the benefits of these projects and to gain support for future developments.”
The Ararat Wind Farm was designed and constructed to create significant environmental, economic and community benefits both locally and globally. During the construction phase of the project, 600 full-time jobs were generated, while $25 million was also injected into the regional economy over a 16-month period.
Now that the project is operational, Ararat Wind Farm is expected to support 50 full-time jobs on an ongoing basis and generate a further $80–85 million for the regional economy over the next 25 years.
This revenue includes new annual income streams for 16 host farms, new annual rates revenues for local councils that can be reinvested in community infrastructure and services, and a community fund that will promote social and environmental sustainability initiatives for the broader community.
Jackson believes the All-Energy Australia trade show and conference provides an important platform for industry leaders to share their case studies, insights and experiences as she believes it can help advance the pace of Australia’s clean energy development.
“All-Energy Australia provides a great networking opportunity for practitioners in the clean energy industry to collaborate and share lessons learned for the betterment of the industry as a whole. I have had the privilege of being deeply involved in the construction of the Ararat Wind Farm project, where I realised first-hand the many benefits associated with the delivery of a carefully planned and executed project.
“I am immensely proud of my involvement in this project and keen to share some of these experiences with my industry colleagues,” she said.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has confirmed that renewable energy is now the cheapest type of new power generation that can be created, and Jackson believes longer term strategies, as well as increased investment in resources and technology, are needed to bring Australia up to a credible global standard when it comes to renewable energy usage.
“Australia has been painfully slow to adopt the necessary renewable energy targets that would offer certainty to investors and in turn the industry to develop cleaner, more economically viable sources of energy. Communities are increasingly demanding a political response to rising electricity prices and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel power generation,” said Jackson.
“Thankfully, at a state level in some jurisdictions, we are beginning to see policies and targets that will require the use of significant volumes of renewable energy. It’s an exciting time to be in the energy industry and All-Energy Australia captures and explores this movement.”
RES is one of the world’s largest independent renewable energy companies, with a 12 GW portfolio and the expertise to develop, engineer, construct, finance and operate products around the globe. RES is active in a range of energy technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission.
Tanya Jackson will be presenting on 11 October 2017 at All-Energy Australia at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
All-Energy Australia Conference and Exhibition
11–12 October 2017
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
All-Energy Australia is a free-to-attend trade show and conference. To access the 2017 program and register for free, visit www.all-energy.com.au. For more information about the program or exhibitors, contact Cristina Natoli, Porter Novelli Melbourne, at (03) 9289 9555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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