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Melbourne Uni

July 2016

How social outcomes are intrinsically linked to

Australias wind future.
Taryn Lane: Embark Australia, The Coalition for Community
Energy and Hepburn Wind

Communities, governments and industry are all lifting the

bar in order to meet the renewable energy targets coming
from state based programs.
However, the current financial incentives are driving a
narrow range of projects to be delivered.
How do we find a balance going forward?

Recent history
SA able to progress: supportive policies,
low population, good wind, large farms
VIC implemented toughest wind
regulations in the world
2013 -2015 Australia became the first
nation to go backwards on climate policy
1,500 employees lost their jobs, operating
projects were hugely impacted, had to
turn to advocacy
RET resolved in 2015, but impact

Current Australian landscape

Decarbonising from coal major focus, UN COP21 relevance.
Social license for wind has been impacted politically and socially.
States are taking the lead: ACT 100% by 2020, Vic 40% by 2025, QLD
50% by 2025, SA 50% by 2025.
ACT first to implement auctions for wind and solar, incentivising better
community engagement, benefit sharing and community investment
but not local content.
Community energy a major focus for the Victorian Government

Regulating the space and the impact

VC82 is under review especially for community wind.

Huge role for advocacy and education.
Operating projects have had to innovate.
Auction process is raising the bar of innovation and community
participation: benefit sharing for neighbours and community
However, community wind cannot compete in this process, projects are
big, with many landholders, low number of neighbours, or, mid size
with very high capacity factor and low neighbours.
Not stimulating a diversity of players creating large wind areas.
NSW planned regulations are focused on visual impact: again
stimulating a narrow type of project.
Larger turbines are further reinforcing a particular type of project.
Unknown cumulative impact of areas set to have dense wind

Community engagement social outcomes

Community engagement is now fundamental to the Australian wind
However, when the market is down it is the first thing to go.
Effective community engagement needs to build the political and
social license to operate on a project by project basis.

ACT Best Practice Community Engagement Guide for Wind

Developed to push better practice.
Offered guiding principles of engagement.
Adaptation of IAP2 spectrum: inform, consult, involve, collaborate,
empower and practical tools on what that actually means and
activities to deliver it.

Emergent research Enhancing Positive Social Outcomes from Wind Development in Australia
1 developer survey: purpose of community engagement

Impact of politics and market

ACT wind guidelines

What works?

Other findings?
Moved on from nimbyism
Authentic participation and innovative financing offer solutions
Complexity of engagement and benefit sharing models necessarily
changes dependent on the type as well as the scale of wind farm
Participatory siting and benefit sharing model design
Appropriateness of staff: personality, skills, availability, presence in local
Huge opportunity for strategic regional development
Essential to find pathways for valuing community engagement; risk
mitigation, financial case, everyone else is doing it.
Important to have a diversity of wind farms going forward to enhance
regional economic development.