Australia passes climate bill, starts consultation for 1st offshore wind zone

Image by: Ocean Winds (www.oceanwinds.com).

August 5 (Renewables Now) - The Australian government on Friday officially proposed the waters off Gippsland, Victoria, as the country’s first zone for offshore wind development, just a day after the country’s new climate bill was passed in the lower house of parliament.

The Bass Strait off the Gippsland coast in Victoria is planned to be the first of six regions offering the potential for turbine installation to develop the nascent offshore wind industry in Australia.

The government’s announcement marks the start of a 60-day submission period for the Gippsland zone, located three nautical miles from the coastline, during which public views will be collected on the possible effects of such developments in the proposed area. Submissions in the consultation process will be accepted by October 7.

“The Albanese Government is unlocking the power of a new renewable energy industry - offshore wind,” federal energy minister Chris Bowen said in a Twitter post.

According to local media reports, the Bass Strait Gippsland region has so far been viewed as the potential home to more than 6 GW of projects, including Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) Star of the South offshore wind scheme of up to 2.2 GW. Corio Generation, a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), has proposed building the up to 1.5-GW Great Southern park off Gippsland’s Bass Coast, while Energy Estate and BlueFloat Energy have tabled a plan for a 1.3-GW complex.

The other areas deemed suitable for the ambitious plan include the Pacific Ocean regions off the Hunter and Illawarra in New South Wales, the Southern Ocean region off Portland in Victoria, the Bass Strait region off northern Tasmania, and the Indian Ocean region off Perth/Bunbury in Western Australia. Details about these five other zones are still not available.

CLIMATE BILL

On Thursday, the Australian government passed a bill in its lower house of parliament that will bind the country, when it becomes law, to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030. The target will be an interim goal in the nation’s plan to become net-zero by 2050.

“The passing of this bill in the House of Representatives starts a new era of climate and energy certainty, one that is well overdue,” said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The bill will now proceed to the Senate and will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

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Browse all articles from Veselina Petrova

Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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