Governments must use renewable technology and boost green power
The technology necessary to increase considerably the amount of clean energy used to supply electricity to the national grid in rich countries is already available and must be used, the Australian Wind Energy Association (AusWEA) has stated.Countries in the G8 should be generating 25% of their electricity needs from renewable energy sources by the year 2025, the International Climate Change Taskforce (ICCT) has said in its recent report, Meeting the climate challenge, which highlighted the severity of the impact of climate change on rural and regional areas.
President of AusWEA, Ian Lloyd-Besson, said wind energy was a proven, cost effective and reliable technology that was already contributing towards greenhouse gas reductions, but by taking full advantage of available technology, renewable energy could make a much bigger contribution to preventing global warming.
"Australia has some of the most powerful and abundant untapped wind on the planet and a grid capacity that can potentially accommodate up to 8,000 MW of wind energy with minor adjustments," he pointed out.
"Even if we were to develop just half of this, the regional employment benefits and export opportunities would be enormous. Hosting wind turbines provides farmers with a steady income while allowing them to continue grazing or cropping their land as they had done before."
Other sources of renewably generated energy such as hydro-power or solar photovoltaic energy could also make a major contribution to lowering the world's dependency on environmentally damaging and unsustainable fossil fuels to make electricity.
Despite the Australian federal government's failure to expand the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET), which prevented over half of the country's proposed renewables projects to proceed, Mr Lloyd-Besson said that there was widespread support throughout the public for increasing the amount of green energy produced in Australia.
"Governments around the world are committing to higher renewable energy targets and Australia, as the worst greenhouse polluter per person in the world, has an obligation to do the same. There is strong support amongst state governments to increase renewable energy targets, which could see the full potential of the wind industry realised," he said.
By Jane Kettle