OPINION: Renewables ‘yes’, Hunter offshore wind ‘no’

DEAR News Of The Area,

I WAS not amongst those in Canberra on Tuesday 6 February protesting Chris Bowen’s proposal to place hundreds of wind turbines on thousands of square kilometres of largely untouched Australian marine habitat.

However, I fully support their message that offshore wind is not needed in Australia where low population densities mean there is ample space onshore near population centres and heavy industry, which the Global Wind Atlas shows has adequate wind capacity factors.

In addition, it is nonsensical to build infrastructure in the ocean at twice the cost of onshore wind farms and which will take twice as long to come on line as onshore wind would.

Please note that I am well aware of the urgent need to transition to renewable energy and wholeheartedly support the grand plan to get there… except for the offshore wind initiative.

If it’s good enough for Twiggy Forrest to build wind farms at Dubbo, why isn’t it good enough for all those foreign owned companies pushing the offshore agenda to also build onshore?

Why push the offshore agenda which will turn thousands of square kilometres of marine habitat into an exclusion zone for humans and other fauna, cause unknown numbers of deaths of migratory shore and seabirds and completely change the balance of species, not always for the better, in Earth’s only heat sink when there are other options onshore?

We know that, after the construction phase, onshore wind farms do far less damage to the environment if they are placed on degraded land, including mining, grazing or cropping land.

In fact most of that land can be returned to its usual use after the construction phase is completed.

We would certainly get better value from onshore infrastructure which has a 30 year lifespan compared to a 20 year lifespan offshore.

Cherylle STONE,
Soldiers Point.

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