This approval rate is double that of the former Coalition government, which approved five projects over the same time period, according to Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.
The increased approval rate, Plibersek said, comes down to an additional $117.1 million (USD 78 million) in the budget of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water – affording more resources for project assessment.
The pipeline of clean energy projects seeking approval has also jumped since the federal election, growing from a total of 64 to 95 today.
Since coming to power last May, the Labor government has approved the 90 MW Lotus Creek Wind Farm, the 445 MW Aldoga Solar Farm, the 336 MW Specimen Hill Wind Farm, and the 372 Boulder Creek Wind Farm, all in Queensland. It has also approved the 90 MW Port Hedland Solar Project in Western Australia, the 152 MW Tilbuster Solar Farm in New South Wales (NSW) and, in South Australia, both the Goyder Wind Farm sections, totalling 414 MW.
Included in the list are three transmission projects: EnergyConnect and Snowy 2.0 transmission connection in NSW and Queensland’s Powerlink.
Federal Labor has been very loud about its renewable endeavours, but faces growing criticism for continuing to approve fossil fuel projects.
While quicker approval turnarounds are undoubtedly welcome, the renewables industry is coming under increasing scrutiny over its project locations. Earlier this month, tech giant Apple pulled out of its deal with Windlab due to the controversy around habitat destruction from the company’s Upper Burdekin project.
Moreover, it was recently revealed one in five of the development proposals threatening koala habitat today are renewable projects.
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