Energy Minister Reveals Offshore Wind Energy Locations
Six possible locations for offshore wind energy have been flagged by Energy Minister Chris Bowen, as the Federal Government looks to increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid.
Bowen said in a press conference a 60-day consultation period would begin immediately on a possible wind project in the Bass Strait off the Gippsland coast.
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Five further locations in consideration include oceans off the Hunter and Illawarra regions in NSW, the Portland region of Victoria, Bass Strait off northern Tasmania, and the Indian Ocean off the Perth and Bunbury region in Western Australia.
Consultation for those sites’ proposals will be announced in the future but are expected to take place over the next 18 months.
It is estimated the Gippsland proposal would power 1.2 million houses across Victoria.
Bowen said Australia had a lot of “catching up to do” when it came to renewable energy.
“There is much, much more to do and Australia has a lot of catching up to do on 10 years of delay, denial and dysfunction,” he said.
“We are way behind the game, way behind the rest of the world in producing wind off our coastline.”
He added the industry is rich in job opportunities and could support anywhere between 3,000 to 8,000 jobs annually across the nation.
“Offshore wind can help with energy security and resilience due to its power capacity and availability at times when solar power and onshore wind are not available,” he said.
“The world’s climate emergency is Australia’s regional jobs opportunity and offshore wind is just one example.
“Unlocking the offshore wind industry is an exciting new chapter for Australia and we want to build a platform of community collaboration and support around it.”
The announcement comes a day after the House of Representatives passed the climate change bill, seeing Australia make a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.
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