Australia set for 'wind industry boom'

AUSTRALIA: The Australian wind industry is "poised for substantial additional expansion" with projects totalling 860MW under construction and between 50 and 100 projects proposed, according to an industry report.

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The report by GL Garrad Hassan for the Australian renewables trade body the Clean Energy Council said a number of factors could lead to increased activity in the sector for 2011.

These include increased turbine-supply competition, the strong Australian dollar and the enhanced renewable-energy target (eRET). The report forecasts an additional 6.9GW of wind capacity installed above existing levels by 2020.

It calls for a "stable investment environment" for industry continuing "well into the future". Complementary measures, like the eRET, should be continued until a carbon price can "bridge the gap" between the costs of fossil fuel and renewable generation, it added.

Power-system issues relating to high rates of wind penetration will also need to be addressed in order to ensure the long-term viability of the industry, the report states.

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