The Australian Parliament on November 25 passed the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021, which sets a framework for developing offshore wind farms and transmission lines, as reported by Reuters on the same day. The legislation will unlock the development of a new industry that provides thousands of skilled regional jobs, boost the economy, and support a more affordable and secure energy system, citing Energy Minister Angus Taylor. The move will propel several multibillion-dollar proposed projects, including the country’s first offshore wind project with an installed capacity of 2.2 gigawatts (GW), called the Star of the South, and renewable developer Sun Cable’s cross-border project. Sun Cable’s project plans to transmit solar power from Northern Australia to Singapore through an undersea cable.
Australia can make use of its 16,000-mile coastline to produce wind power, as a supplement to its renewable energy system consisting of 35.9% wind power, 35.8% solar energy, 23.3% hydrogen power, and 5% bioenergy in 2020. In the same year, renewable energy contributed 27.7% of Australia’s total electricity generation, 3.7 percentage points up from the previous year. The Australian government resolves to raise the proportion to achieve green energy transformation. Offshore wind power can help with that by providing more reliable and efficient power output with more costs than onshore wind power. Three of the first proposed offshore wind farms in the southern state of Victoria have secured funds worth AUD40m from the local government, and the firms will use the proceeds to research and determine the exact locations of their projects.