Studies in Policy Choices and Interactions
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 9: Supporting emission reductions through a viable wind energy industry: lessons for Australia
Denmark has been the world’s leader in wind energy for many years. In 2011, Denmark produced 28.3 per cent of its electricity from wind power, the largest share of any country in the world. Denmark has had a successful wind energy industry since the 1970s, supported by energy taxes for many years. In addition to these taxes, Denmark has initiated planning law reform and linked wind power development to industry development, heavily involving local communities. Over many years, these policies have helped provide certainty to the industry and allayed community concerns. Australia, on the other hand, has been slowly developing a wind energy industry following the introduction of a mandatory renewable energy target (MRET) in 2001 and a carbon tax in July 2012. In 2013, Australia produced 4 per cent of its electricity from wind energy. The recent repeal of the carbon tax and the review of the MRET has resulted in uncertainty for the wind energy industry and a consequent withdrawal of investment. Australia and Denmark are different geographically and geopolitically. Australia is a large, sparsely populated land mass, with wind energy regulated by separate States. Energy security is not an issue. This is advantageous for Australia in that it enables Australia to have large buffer zones for wind turbines and the ability to capture wind at all times through wind turbines at different locations.
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