The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) has released a draft position statement on renewable energy facilities for public comment.
The draft position statement aims to facilitate appropriate development of renewable energy facilities while minimising any potential impact upon the environment and valued landscapes. It also encourages informed public engagement early in the renewable energy facility planning process.
This statement, once finalised, will replace the existing Planning Bulletin 67 Guidelines for Wind Farm Development (2004).
May 2018 - draft position statement released for public comment. Submissions closed 5pm, Friday 27 July 2018.
Renewable Energy in Western Australia
Western Australia is well placed to take advantage of the growth in renewable energy – particularly solar and wind.
Renewable energy currently accounts for around 16 per cent of total electricity generation in Australia. Renewable electricity generation is highest from hydro followed by wind and solar.
The Clean Energy Council notes that there are 52 renewable energy projects under construction in Australia, predominantly solar and wind through $10 billion in investment to deliver 5206 megawatts of new capacity.
Geoscience Australia reports that Australia has the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent, providing the best solar energy resource in the world. Australia receives an average of 58 million petajoules (PJ) of solar radiation per year, approximately 10 000 times larger than its total energy consumption.
Australia's current use of solar energy is low with solar energy only accounting for about 0.1 per cent of Australia's total primary energy consumption. The most common use of solar energy is solar thermal water heating. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are particularly important for off-grid electricity generation in remote areas.
Australia’s population is expected to grow by 30 per cent over the next 20 years but grid-supplied consumption is forecast to remain relatively flat. Roof-top PV solar is forecast to meet the increase in residential consumption demand.
Geoscience Australia also identifies Australia as having some of the best wind resources in the world. Western Australia’s high wind region (wind speeds above 7.5m/s) includes the west coast south of Shark Bay to Cape Leeuwin.
Good wind resources extend hundreds of kilometres inland and many of Australia's wind farms (current and planned) are located some distance from the coast. Inland regions of Western Australia, South Australia and western Victoria all have good wind resources.
Read more here: http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/energy/resources/other-renewable-energy-resources
WA currently has nine Solar Photovoltaic facilities and 18 Wind Turbine facilities.