CANBERRA, AAP – The role of Australia’s wind farm commissioner role will expand into helping solve problems between community groups and energy giants.
Andrew Dyer’s business card now reads: “Australian energy infrastructure commissioner”.
He will help resolve complaints and community concerns over transmission projects, and assist both industry and government to follow best practice when implementing projects.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said he wanted to make sure community concerns were properly heard through Mr Dyer’s new role.
For instance, a path is being decided for the Hume Link, which will take power from Snowy Hydro south of Canberra to the main electricity grid.
Communities through the Riverina have raised concerns with proposed routes and their effect on endangered and threatened flora and fauna.
The commissioner’s expanded role comes as the United States teams up with Australia to help progress solar power technology.
The US Department of Energy is funding tests of technology that will convert sunlight into stored thermal energy, which can then be used to power turbines and create electricity at any time.
The project has input from the CSIRO, Australian National University and University of Adelaide.
Mr Taylor has talked up Australia’s prowess with renewable energy since President Joe Biden took over the US administration.
“Australian research is opening up new ways to generate clean electricity and reducing emissions around the world,” Mr Taylor said in a statement.
“Zero emissions, dispatchable energy sources like concentrated solar thermal storage will be needed to back up increasing shares of renewable energy.”
Mr Biden’s special envoy for climate, John Kerry, recently called Prime Minister Scott Morrison to talk about Australia’s policies.
The two countries have recently established a working group to cooperate on low-emission technology.