More green energy investment than fossil fuels, and NSW is jumping in

By Tina Perinotto

5 June – Australia’s biggest windfarm, enough to power 200,000 homes was this week approved by the NSW State Government for a site at Silverton near Broken Hill, at the same time that the United Nations announced that green energy had overtaken fossil fuels in investment terms.

The NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, said the Silverton windfarm was a $2.2 billion investment with capacity to supply 4.5 per cent of the state’s energy needs.

It would create 700 jobs during its five year construction period and 120 jobs when it was up and running, an AAP news item posted on the Fairfax and News websites said.

Developer of the project will be Epuron, part of the Macquarie Group.

Maddocks –  who advised the New South Wales Department of Lands  on the wind farm lease, the consent deeds with the pastoral leaseholders and the construction licence –  said the deal involved an usual “parallel Lease” over crown land that was unique in Australian property law and possibly across the globe.

Maddocks Property partner Christopher Conolly, said negotiations took almost 18 months and  involved six principal parties, the Department’s own lawyers, changes to legislation, multiple economic analyses as well as independently facilitated workshops.

“Department of Lands have congratulated us on assisting with the success of the project and noted that Maddocks is ‘now part of the history of land tenure in Australia’”, said Mr Conolly.

According to an item published in The Guardian this week quoting United Nations figures, clean technologies are now worth $140 billion worldwide compared with $110 billion fossil fuel energy technologies.

The article said that wind power was now the leader in green energy, worth $51.8 billion in investment, followed by solar at $33.5 billion. But while wind power grew by only 1 per cent year on year, solar was up by nearly 50 per cent year-on-year.

Biofuels attracted $16.9 billion but were down 9 per cent in 2008 compared with 2008.

Biggest growth was occurring in China where investment in green energy grew  27 per cent. India’s green energy grew  12 per cent for 2008  on 2007 levels.

Overall there was a slump in renewable  in the first quarter of 2009, but with signs of renewed interest in the sector occurring in the second quarter.

tperinotto@thefifthestatecom.au