In a recent paper published by Andrew Blakers of the Australian National University, the Hydro-electric Commission of Tasmania (HECT) is accused of building two hydro power stations that were not needed at a cost of A$1200 million. Blakers contends that the HECT grossly overestimated the cost of wind energy in the 1980s and used a federal government grant worth $500 million to reduce the cost of the unneeded hydro schemes instead of investing the money in energy efficiency and renewables -- particularly wind energy. If the HECT had invested in wind plant, contends Blakers, this would have followed the utility's load growth much more closely and avoided the huge borrowing for unneeded hydro. Meanwhile, the HECT study has found that there are no adverse environmental impacts for a proposed wind plant on King Island off Tasmania's north coast. In the latest report, the HECT is considering up to 700 kW of wind.
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