Action required on policy and transmission in Australia

With 817.3 MW of wind capacity in Australia and a further 6155 MW proposed there was widespread agreement at the Auswind 2007 conference that getting new projects over the line will require stronger policy, easier grid access, and resolution of site permitting issues. "The grid rules need to be altered to be able to effectively deal with intermittency," said Mark Kelleher of developer Roaring 40s, referring to market rules that penalise generators unable to supply a predetermined volume of power to the network. "Planning approvals is a difficult area to address to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, but a streamlined approach will work and best practice guidelines will be key. More broadly, consideration could be given to no-go zones as well as areas where development is encouraged," he added. Meanwhile, the consultation period on new arrangements to accommodate more renewable energy into the national electricity market has been extended to the end of this month, said David Waterstone of the National Electricity Market Management Company. The new arrangements are expected to include a "semi-dispatch" category of generator on the system. Under current arrangements, it has been necessary to classify renewables as "non-scheduled" to protect them from financial punishment should they deviate from their scheduled production.

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