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Clouding the issue: the latest analysis of the impact of the Renewable Energy Target contradicts previous reports. Clouding the issue: the latest analysis of the impact of the Renewable Energy Target contradicts previous reports. Bo-deh/Wikimedia Commons

How does the Renewable Energy Target affect your power bills?

The review of the Renewable Energy Target is due to be handed to the federal government any day now, yet amazingly there are still conflicts over whether the policy makes electricity more or less expensive…
Wind farms: great, unless it’s not windy. Wind farms: great, unless it’s not windy. mattinbgn/Wikimedia Commons

Renewables still have a long way to go to compete with fossil fuels

Australia has some fairly ambitious goals for green energy: a renewable energy target (currently under review) of 20% of electricity from renewables by 2020, and a forecast to get 51% of electricity from…
Water storage is used to smooth the output from hydroelectric power - but it can be used with other renewables too. Water storage is used to smooth the output from hydroelectric power - but it can be used with other renewables too. Martin Kraft/Wikimedia Commons

How pushing water uphill can solve our renewable energy issues

More and more renewable energy sources are being plugged into Australia’s electricity grids. South Australia, for example, will get 40% of its electricity from wind and solar once the Snowtown wind farm…
Australia has a possible path to 100% renewables – if governments and business can be persuaded to take it. Australia has a possible path to 100% renewables – if governments and business can be persuaded to take it. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Renewable energy target can go all the way to 100% – if we let it

The political outlook for renewable energy is not great – and I’m not just talking about the view out of Joe Hockey’s car window. The Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to deliver 41 million megawatt-hours…
Lake George, complete with “offensive” wind turbines. Expect more views like this around Canberra soon. Lake George, complete with “offensive” wind turbines. Expect more views like this around Canberra soon. Darcyj/Wikimedia Commons

Sorry, Joe Hockey – Canberra is Australia’s home of wind farms

We now know that Treasurer Joe Hockey is not a fan of wind farms, on aesthetic grounds at least. On Friday he told Macquarie Radio’s Alan Jones he finds the view “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the…
Better hold on to those 10-gallon hats, Texas. Better hold on to those 10-gallon hats, Texas. AWEA

With money to be made, wind power booms in oil-rich Texas

Wind power is now big business in the US, and it is getting bigger. Last year, the US wind industry added 1,087MW of new wind power capacity, about the same as is currently installed in Austria, and by…
An engineering renaissance for Hull. An engineering renaissance for Hull. Siemens

British hi-tech engineering is more successful than you think

Building serious infrastructure – such as energy supply, energy distribution, road and rail – is a big undertaking. It takes a long time to build, but an even longer time to plan and to generate enough…
The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. Terence Doust/Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm reviews are pointless if they leave out anxiety illness

The Australian Medical Association has released a statement once again affirming that there is no evidence that wind farms harm human health. Geoffrey Dobb, chair of the AMA’s Public Health Committee…
And less visible than wind farms, too. And less visible than wind farms, too. Stephen Wilson/PA

Promise of wave and tidal power left out to sea by government

Currents of cautious optimism were flowing at the Wave and Tidal Energy conference in Belfast. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs and academics presented progress reports on the dazzling assortment of devices…
Proximity to wind farms may cause annoyance but not ill health. Proximity to wind farms may cause annoyance but not ill health. Image from shutterstock.com

Study finds no evidence wind turbines make you sick – again

There is no reliable or consistent evidence that proximity to wind farms or wind farm noise directly causes health effects. That’s the finding of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC…
Offshore wind: pause for thought. Offshore wind: pause for thought. Frank Augstein/AP

Offshore wind is too expensive, and that’s unlikely to change

The government has announced that the final prices paid to generators of solar, onshore and offshore wind would change to favour offshore wind at the expense of the others. While the difference is fairly…
People report symptoms from wind farms even when the wind turbines aren’t in operation. People report symptoms from wind farms even when the wind turbines aren’t in operation. Image from shutterstock.com

Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can

Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they…
South Australia produces plenty of wind power, but it might become more than the grid can handle. South Australia produces plenty of wind power, but it might become more than the grid can handle. Flickr/holidaypointau

Pumped hydro energy storage – making better use of wind

In late September, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released a report investigating how wind can better be integrated into the power grid. AEMO reports that as more wind turbines are deployed…
There’s more wind in Scotland than in England, and not just in the pipes. There’s more wind in Scotland than in England, and not just in the pipes. Danny Lawson/PA

It’s advantage Scotland when it comes to wind power

A frequent claim heard is that the UK is Europe’s windiest country. This is a partial truth; Scotland is the windiest country, whereas England is far from the windiest. To see the truth of this one need…
Without energy storage technology we’re leaving good energy blowing in the wind. Without energy storage technology we’re leaving good energy blowing in the wind. Danny Lawson/PA

When the wind blows we must capture it for a calmer day

The handling of Britain’s energy strategy leaves much to be desired, subject as it is to short term politics over long term planning. We face a trilemma that stems from the opposing tension of climate…
It doesn’t matter that wind and solar power are intermittent: the need for base-load power is a myth. It doesn’t matter that wind and solar power are intermittent: the need for base-load power is a myth. Flickr/Eidoloon

Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work

The future of civilisation and much biodiversity hangs to a large degree on whether we can replace fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – with clean, safe and affordable energy within several decades. The…
A change in Premier should be Victoria’s chance to re-embrace wind power. A change in Premier should be Victoria’s chance to re-embrace wind power. Instinia/Flickr

Napthine should revisit Victoria’s wind farm planning laws

Earlier this month, Victorians woke to the news that they had a new premier: Dennis Napthine, member for the South-West Coast District, would take over from Ted Baillieu to lead the state. As climate change…
Exposure to infrasound, at the level produced by wind turbines, is an ordinary occurrence. Exposure to infrasound, at the level produced by wind turbines, is an ordinary occurrence. Flickr/Wavy1

How the power of suggestion generates wind farm symptoms

A surge in health complaints linked to wind farms could owe more to increased discussion of health risk than the low-level sound generated by the actual turbines, according to a new study. The study by…
Wind turbine syndrome seems to be caused by fear and anxiety spread by anti-wind farm groups. Wind turbine syndrome seems to be caused by fear and anxiety spread by anti-wind farm groups. Image from shutterstock.com

New study: wind turbine syndrome is spread by scaremongers

A study of mine published last night delivers a double whammy to those who argue that wind turbines cause health problems in communities. Earlier this week researchers at the University of Auckland published…
We might want more wind power, but what do we want less of? We might want more wind power, but what do we want less of? Dave Clarke

Wind is no answer if it leads to higher emissions

Wind energy is growing rapidly in Australia. South Australia leads the pack with wind power making up around 20% of its electricity generation capacity. But there is plenty of interest in other states…
Serbian villagers fear vampires, but we have our own superstitions in the Anglosphere. Serbian villagers fear vampires, but we have our own superstitions in the Anglosphere. Drurydrama (Len Radin)

Vampires and wind farms: mass hysteria can be a pain in the neck

If the latest spate of news stories coming out of Serbia are anything to go by, the tiny and otherwise unassuming village of Zarožje has something of a vampire problem. Local legend tells of Sava Savanovi…
If British Conservatives are worried about the environment, they would do well to focus on reducing emissions, not stopping wind turbines. If British Conservatives are worried about the environment, they would do well to focus on reducing emissions, not stopping wind turbines. floato/Flickr

Corby by-election: British Tories all talk on wind power

There are few cardinal sins in politics – but campaigning on behalf of your opponent has to be one of them. So when news broke this week that the British Conservative Party MP Chris Heaton Harris had boasted…
It’s easy to claim “wind turbine syndrome” exists, but where’s the evidence? It’s easy to claim “wind turbine syndrome” exists, but where’s the evidence? Snurb

There’s still no evidence that wind farms harm your health

Back in July I wrote an article for the The Conversation arguing that wind turbine syndrome was a classic “communicated” disease: it spreads by being talked about, and is therefore a strong candidate for…
Wind and solar power appears to have been behind a drop in wholesale power prices in South Australia, leading to a proposal to reduce retail prices for consumers. Wind and solar power appears to have been behind a drop in wholesale power prices in South Australia, leading to a proposal to reduce retail prices for consumers.

Power of the wind - how renewables are lowering SA electricity bills

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power appear to be the impetus behind a South Australian proposal to substantially drop electricity prices, just as other states are hiking theirs. The Essential…
In the year to June 2012, 26% of SA’s electricity came from wind: how do they do it? In the year to June 2012, 26% of SA’s electricity came from wind: how do they do it? Dave Clarke

Wind power: why is South Australia so successful?

The integration of wind energy generation into the electricity grid in South Australia is a success story. The gross statistic often quoted is the total electricity produced as a percentage of the supply…
Wind farms have existed in Australia long before the first claims about health ever surfaced. Wind farms have existed in Australia long before the first claims about health ever surfaced. AAP

Wind turbine syndrome: a classic ‘communicated’ disease

At the beginning of this year I started collecting examples of health problems some people were attributing to wind turbine exposure. I had noticed a growing number of such claims on the internet and was…
Most forms of energy generation are a blight on the landscape: why single out wind? Most forms of energy generation are a blight on the landscape: why single out wind? eidlog42/Flickr

Not a level playing field for wind power

Wind farms make noise. Coal fired power stations pollute the air and atmosphere. Coal-seam gas mines pollute underground water aquifers. All electricity generating sources, to some people, pollute the…
US-China competition could lead to a brighter clean energy future, or a trade war. US-China competition could lead to a brighter clean energy future, or a trade war. whitehouse.gov

Who owns the sun? Patent law and clean energy

There is a trade war brewing between the United States and China over intellectual property relating to clean technologies – particularly solar power. Steven Chu, a scientist, Nobel Laureate in Physics…
Could offshore be a new dawn for wind power in Australia? Could offshore be a new dawn for wind power in Australia? Vattenfall

Europe has offshore wind farms … why can’t Australia?

The Victorian Government is severely limiting areas where onshore wind farms can be built. The New South Wales Government might soon attempt to follow. So, if Australia is to cut its greenhouse gas emissions…
Which way is the wind blowing for NSW’s renewable energy policy? Which way is the wind blowing for NSW’s renewable energy policy? Auntie K

Will NSW renewables be blown off course by Victoria’s winds of change?

Not so long ago, Victoria was the poster child for renewable energy policy in Australia. It had a Climate Change Act put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% between 2000 and 2020. It had…

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