SA Govt decision to buy wind power a boost for local jobs: AEA

The announcement by the Premier of South Australia Mike Rann this week that his Government will purchase half of the renewable energy produced from the new Starfish Hill wind farm is a positive step that will help deliver local jobs and investment, according to the Australian EcoGeneration Association (AEA).

"Wind energy has the potential to deliver a significant economic and environmental benefit to South Australia," said the president of the AEA, Andrew Stock

A recent AEA study identified that renewable energy projects provide up to five times as many jobs and twice the local investment of traditional power generation projects.

"South Australia has huge potential to develop a world class wind energy industry. Today's commitment to purchase more than 6 per cent of the State Government's power from South Australia's first wind farm is an important recognition of this.

"With electricity accounting for almost 40 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, we need to shift to sustainable sources of energy such as wind.

"South Australia will win on environmental as well as economic grounds if it develops its sustainable power sector. Today's initiative will see the State start to take advantage of these benefits," Mr Stock said.

However, for the wind industry to deliver on its potential the critical issue of National Electricity Code transmission access urgently needs to be addressed.

"We have the unfair situation where South Australian customers are paying for distant NSW coal-fired generators to get access to their market but local wind developers have to pay for that access themselves.

"The sustainable power industry is heartened by the Premier's support for wind energy and looks forward to working with him to ensure this inequity is addressed," Mr Stock said.

The AEA is the industry association that represents Australia's sustainable power producers that includes technologies such as renewables, cogeneration, waste-to-energy and distributed generation.