Australia could become an offshore wind superpower, with new jobs and economic opportunities, after years of waiting for the federal government to open the door to this booming global industry.
The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor has tabled an offshore wind bill in Parliament, that investors, energy experts, and communities like the Latrobe Valley in Victoria have been waiting years for.
“This is a very welcome, and long-awaited first step. There is enough wind potential, just off our shores, to power Australia’s electricity grid several times over. The proposed Star of the South project off the coast of Victoria has the potential to supply 20 percent of the state’s energy needs,” said Climate Council spokesperson and energy expert, Dr Madeline Taylor.
“Australia’s wind capacity has been likened to the North Sea – an area that’s leading the world in offshore wind generation. Investing in and growing this industry is a no-brainer for Australia, but it needs to be done right,” she said.
“For the first time ever, AEMO’s latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) recently modelled Australia’s hydrogen superpower potential, and now it is time we did the same and modelled our potential as an Offshore Energy Superpower,” said Dr Taylor.
“This is our ticket to a reliable, affordable, and clean energy future. Offshore wind coupled with other offshore renewable energy sources and storage can fill any reliability gaps and at the same time, lower our greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.
There are currently more than 10 offshore wind projects that have been waiting for this legislation.
Climate Council spokeswoman and economist Nicki Hutley added: “Renewable energy is Australia’s key to prosperity, with its ability to create jobs, lower electricity prices and support new industries such as renewable hydrogen and zero carbon manufacturing.”
“Our government should have been focusing on expanding wind and solar projects, instead of wasting time and taxpayer money on expensive and polluting coal, oil and gas projects which will only worsen climate change,” said Ms Hutley.
“Today’s legislation is a great first step towards helping Australia make the most of our abundant wind and solar resources, and must be accompanied by the right investment and policy support for renewable projects as well as an immediate end to fossil fuel expansion,” she added.
The Climate Council recommends Australia cut its emissions by 75 percent by 2030 (based on 2005 levels) and reach net zero by 2035, doing its fair share of global climate action.
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