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Victoria blows away wind farm regulations

Victoria is embracing renewable energy from wind farms 171 6014532 0 14066633 300

2014 was a tough year for renewable energy, but new policies are looking to help it bounce back, which will positively affect electricity prices.

In a recent press release, the Victorian government announced an upheaval of the wind farm planning process.

The changes largely involve removing the bureaucratic paperwork so that progress can move on faster and more efficiently.

"We have cut red tape to boost investment in clean energy, which will create more jobs for Victorians and grow our economy," said Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne.

Statistics from the state government's Energy and Earth Resources website show that there are currently 1,076 major operating wind farms, while 2,489 have been pre-approved for construction.

A dark year for renewable energy

This all comes on the back of one of the worst years in more than a decade for the renewable energy sector, with considerable drops in generation, investment and employment.

"Incredibly, between 2013 and 2014 new investment plummeted 88 percent."

Incredibly, between 2013 and 2014 in the renewable energy market, new investment plummeted 88 per cent, according to the Clean Energy Council's Clean Energy Australia Report 2014.

Not to mention the number of people employed in the industry dropping by 900.

In a recent media release, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the decline was due to the delay of a bipartisan deal between the main parties on the Renewable Energy Target (RET), but he is optimistic for 2015.

"The good news is that a deal on the RET has been agreed between the major parties and was supported by some of the country's most influential business peak bodies and energy user groups. Once this deal is legislated, it will help return investment to the sector and build a lot more major renewable energy projects," he said.

Energy outlook

Policies like the ease of wind farm regulation by the Victorian government will pave the way for Australian electricity in the future.

"Approximately 6500 jobs and $10 billion worth of investment are set to be created by the large-scale renewable energy sector alone. With household renewables included, this takes the total up to 15,200 jobs and $40.4 billion worth of investment over the life of the scheme," said Mr Thornton.

Although the forecast is very bright, electricity prices are unlikely to change while renewable energy finds its feet. So consider being more efficient with your energy use, or comparing energy suppliers.

The experts from Make it Cheaper will compare prices from Australia's leading energy suppliers to ensure you're getting a fair deal.

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