Wind farms popular despite protests

Friends of the Earth’s Yes2Renewables campaign has welcomed today’s polling results that show rural residents remain overwhelmingly supportive of wind energy.

The survey, commissioned by wind farm developer Pacific Hydro, polled residents in areas where wind farms had been built. The results show 83% of respondents across three states support building wind turbines as a way to generate electricity.

In South Australia, where already 20% of energy comes from the wind, and the “Landscape Guardians” group are today organising a protest at Parliament House, 74% of respondents support more wind power being built in SA.

“These results are another blow to the credibility of the anti-wind groups. Study after study has found no adverse health effects caused by wind farms, despite anti-wind campaigners’ assertions,” said Ben Courtice, renewable energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Melbourne.

“Now we see that despite a high-profile national campaign, they also have failed to convince much of the communities they target in their messaging.

“We hope that state political parties will take note of this when considering policy on wind farms,” Mr Courtice said.

“We hope politicians will listen to that overwhelming community support for wind energy.

“South Australia’s Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond is calling for a two-kilometre radius exclusion zone around residences – that’s over twelve square kilometres around each house. The current government policy of one kilometre gives a substantial setback to residents, but only locks out a quarter of the land area.

“We hope that Isobel Redmond will reconsider her policy before committing it to the next election. Victoria’s government has enacted a similar law, and wind developers are packing up and leaving the state. This is costing regional Victoria jobs and business opportunities and on-farm income.”