Renewable energy – The answer is blowing in the wind – News from the region
RENEWABLE energies and reducing emissions are now a higher priority for the Australian government.
Australia’s commitment to reducing emissions is in the international spotlight and we are seen as a nation that needs to do better.
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The federal government has introduced legislation that will pave the way for the construction of Australia’s first offshore wind farms.
Port Stephens and Newcastle are well placed to accommodate offshore wind farms.
Experts say a renewable energy industry built on large-scale offshore wind farms could unlock billions of dollars in investment and create thousands of jobs in the region, providing a sustainable future for the community.
As a result of this legislation, Weld Australia is calling on the federal government to impose local content in the construction of critical national infrastructure projects such as these wind farms.
The offshore energy infrastructure bill could allow the construction of the Star of the South 2.2 gigawatt wind farm off the coast of Gippsland in southeast Victoria.
The bill could also allow the construction of wind farms in our region.
According to Geoff Crittenden, CEO of Weld Australia, “The only way to ensure that these huge wind turbines meet Australian standards for reliability, quality and safety is to award manufacturing contracts to local Australian companies.
“Local manufacturers adhere to internationally recognized Australian standards and are certified by the relevant Australian authority.
“The Star of the South and Marinus Link interconnection projects alone are worth $ 10 billion and are expected to create 10,000 jobs. “
If wind turbines are built in regional areas, thousands of jobs could be created in regions like Tomago.
“The importance of our local manufacturing industry cannot be understated when it comes to Australia’s post-COVID recovery.
“Australia’s job-driven COVID-19 recovery needs to be manufacturing focused. “
Industry calls on government to make manufacturing a national priority.
“The government, at all levels, must support and invest in the manufacturing sector to promote its growth.
“Making local content mandatory in national infrastructure projects is the only way to ensure product quality and public safety, create new jobs and strengthen the Australian economy,” said Crittenden.
Speaking at an online event last week hosted by Friends of the Earth and the Climate Council exploring Australia’s opportunities in offshore wind, Newcastle Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the region was perfectly positioned to embrace this new industry.
“The characteristics that make us one of the largest coal regions also position us perfectly to become a major national and international player in clean energy,” said Cr Nelmes.
Offshore wind farms have been developed globally for almost 30 years as a viable source of renewable energy.
A number of sites around Australia have been identified for possible offshore wind farms, including two potential projects off the coast of Newcastle.
Cr Nelmes believes that this industry has the potential to offer a multitude of benefits for the state and our region, but was aware of the need to put in place measures to protect and create local jobs.
Climate Council Research Director Dr Simon Bradshaw said: “As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on the planet, Australia could be a global renewable energy powerhouse.
“Every day of delay is a missed economic opportunity.
“Australia’s climate inaction also creates national security risks and weakens our position with key allies such as the United States who have security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region which are exacerbated by our attitude. to do nothing, ”added Dr Bradshaw.
By Marian SAMPSON