Media Release: 19/12/2022
Today Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen has declared the first offshore wind zones in Australia . The announcement is set to accelerate the development of the offshore wind industry in Australia, with Gippsland designated the first region in the country to develop offshore wind.
Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the news, saying the development of the offshore wind sector in Gippsland will be a game changer for the state’s efforts to tackle climate change and will create thousands of new job opportunities.
“The federal government’s decision to declare Gippsland the first designated zone for offshore wind is a huge vote of confidence for the future of renewable energy in the region, creating jobs and many other benefits,” said Wendy Farmer, community campaigner for Friends of the Earth in Gippsland.
“Offshore wind will pump a huge amount of new, renewable power into the grid, adding to the onshore wind and solar projects across Gippsland, including solar panels people are putting on their own roofs and businesses,” added Farmer, “that’s good for power prices, it's good for jobs, and it's good for the environment.”
Gippsland will soon be home to the country's first offshore wind farm, the landmark Star of the South project which will have a generation capacity of 2,000MW and meet up to 20% of the state's energy needs. Now that the federal offshore wind zone has been announced, several other offshore wind farm proposals for Gippsland can now advance through the planning process towards development.
“After years of failure on climate and energy policy at the federal level, Minister Chris Bowen has not wasted any time in assuring the community that governments are planning the energy transition”. Said Farmer
Earlier this year, Victoria announced ambitious targets to build a massive 9 Gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040, with the goal of switching on the country’s first offshore wind project by 2028.
The beginning of a whole new industry is an opportunity to get offshore wind right. Friends of the Earth are having many community conversations across Gippsland about offshore wind future, to make sure regional communities have a stake in how this exciting new sector develops.
Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth Community Campaigner,
[email protected] 0408 261 551