Harvey N. and Dew, R.E.C. 2016. Coastal Impacts of Onshore Wind Farms in Australia In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 992 - 996. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The global expansion of wind-generated power has resulted in a rapid proliferation of both onshore and offshore wind farms, particularly in Europe. Australia like the rest of the world has experienced a rapid increase in wind power over the last decade but unlike Europe, its coastal wind farms are all located onshore mostly in the southern part of the country where wind energy resources are high. Around half of the wind farms are located in rural coastal locations. This paper discusses the various environmental, social and political issues associated with coastal wind farm development in Australia by assessing the coastal impact of wind farms and the adequacy of coastal management strategies for dealing with such impacts. The paper concludes that the technological pace of coastal wind farm development has outstripped the development control process, which has resulted in a largely unforeseen cumulative impact on the Australian coast.