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Pacific region


With some of the world’s best wind resources, Australia is a prime market for wind energy. The growing industry can take advantage of a stable, growing economy, good access to grid infrastructure, and well organised financial and legal services.

While Australia had an exceptionally weak year in 2007, with only 7 MW of new installations, the change in government at the end of the year encourages hope for a brighter future for wind energy. Within hours of being sworn in to office, the new Labour Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signed the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, thereby dramatically changing Australia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is likely to have positive long-term impacts for wind energy development in the country.

The total operating wind capacity at the end of 2007 was 824 MW. While there were only three new project commitments during 2007 - amounting to €440 million of investment - the 2008 outlook is rosier as a result of the growing political and public support. Significant amounts of wind capacity are moving through the project planning stages – with over 400 MW of projects receiving planning approval during 2007.

Nine projects (over 860 MW in total) were commissioned, although not yet operational, by December 2007, including three new projects totalling 290 MW of capacity.

The new government expanded Australia’s national target of 2 per cent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020 to 20 per cent. To meet this target, around 10,000 MW of new renewable energy projects will be built over the next decade. The wind industry is poised to play a major role in meeting this demand.

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