Wind power could provide $10.5bn boost to Australian communities – report

By Addie Thomes

Australia’s numerous wind power projects could deliver $10.5bn in shared benefits to the communities in which they are situated, according to a new study.

The Australian Wind Alliance’s (AWA) ‘Building Stronger Communities: wind's growing role in regional Australia’ report, said that the sector has already delivered an economic boost of almost $4bn to regional Australia.

Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the AWA, commented: “Australia’s 82 operational wind farms are delivering significant financial and social benefits to their host communities. Wind power is making a long-lasting, positive contribution to rural Australia’s social fabric.”

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The report estimates $10.5bn could be delivered to host communities across the 25-year life span of Australia’s existing wind farms and wind farms under construction. This would come through what it calls shared benefit mechanisms, which include land rental and agreements on profits being spent on community projects.

Charlie Prell, the New South Wales organiser for the AWA, added: “Sharing benefits equitably and effectively with local communities ensures these projects generate not just much-needed clean energy, but also strengthen the social and economic health of regional Australia.”

The AWA says that the 2GW of new wind farm capacity currently under construction has created an estimated 1,950 direct local jobs and a further 4,500 indirect jobs through the supply chain.

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