”I was asked the other day in Canberra where does that number come from, and I said I have no idea,” he said. ”Who found out that two kilometres was the magic number?
”In Denmark, when you have a wind turbine, in order to get approval, you need to be four times the height of the tip (away from a house). The tip height is 150-200 metres, so the distance from the turbine to where people live has got to be 600-800 metres. And that’s fine.
The government has said the two-kilometre buffer zone had been long-standing Coalition policy based on studies of planning schemes overseas.
Anti wind farm group the Landscape Guardians has long advocated at least a two-kilometre buffer, claiming wind turbines cause illness. But the government denies its decision was driven by health concerns.
The wind power industry has warned that the regulations, including turbine ”no-go” zones, would lead it to invest elsewhere, costing Victoria up to $3 billion.
Mr Engel backed opening wind farms to the public to dispel myths about wind power. Denmark generates a quarter of its energy from wind power. Vestas had turbine blade manufacturing plants in Victoria and Tasmania, but they closed in 2007 over policy uncertainty.