Renewable energy fears for wind farm

CUTS to the renewable energy target could affect a wind farm planned for the state's economically depressed North, the project's developer says.

Low Head Wind Farm founder and director Shane Bartel yesterday said any significant cuts to the target would affect the $60 million wind farm proposed for an area east of Low Head.

Mr Bartel said the project would hire between 30 and 50 contractors in the building phase and employ five to 10 people post- construction.

The project was partly driven by the federal target of 20 per cent renewable electricity production by 2020, which is under review.

Low Head Wind Farm's development application has been submitted to the government.

"It's up to the Commonwealth to approve that - we're still working with them on that," Mr Bartel said.

"I certainly think (a decision will be made) this month ... to date, there have been no serious issues with it."

The Australian reported on Saturday that Hydro Tasmania - which has power-purchasing agreements for its major Tasmanian wind farms Musselroe and Woolnorth - would suffer financially if there were significant cuts to the renewable energy target.

The state-owned company would not comment on the report leaked to the national newspaper but said ongoing reviews of the target had created uncertainty around wind farm revenues.

"Hydro Tasmania did not confirm to The Australian the losses claimed in the story," a statement from Hydro Tasmania said.

"It is our expectation that a positive outcome from the RET review will in fact make these figures meaningless, and our wind farm investments will be delivering the expected returns."

Clean Energy Council deputy chief executive Kane Thornton said more than $10 billion of investment in renewable energy would be damaged if the scheme was changed. "Leaving the policy alone would create approximately 18,400 jobs by the end of the decade, additional investment of $15 billion in large-scale renewable energy and lower power bills over the medium term," he said.


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