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Pages tagged "Offshore Wind"

MEDIA RELEASE: Gippsland offshore wind zone a vote of confidence in region’s renewable energy future

After years of delays and inaction the Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen is set to accelerate offshore wind for Gippsland, which has been designated the first region in the country to develop offshore wind.

Environment organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the news, and says kickstarting an offshore wind sector in Gippsland will be a game changer for the state’s efforts on climate change while creating thousands of new job opportunities.

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From transition to transformation: Coal closure inquiry finds Latrobe Valley can lead Vic on renewable energy

The Latrobe Valley and Gippsland can lead Victoria in renewable energy as the state transitions away from coal-fired power, a report tabled in the state's Legislative Council has found.

Our Gippsland campaigner Wendy Farmer takes a deep dive into the inquiry, how it came about and what it means for the Latrobe Valley.

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Join the conversation about Gippsland's offshore wind future

With frequent breakdowns at Victoria’s ageing coal fired power stations, the state has a huge opportunity to lead on offshore wind, create thousands of good jobs and act on the climate crisis.

Earlier this year, the Andrews government has announced it will secure investment in the country's first offshore wind farm this decade, and aims to build a massive 9 GW of offshore wind by 2040. 

In good news for communities across Gippsland the region is set to become the first in the country to host the industry.

The opportunity is huge, and now we need to make sure the start of this new industry delivers real change for regional communities and workers, while protecting the places we love.

Friends of the Earth would love to have a conversation about your hopes and concerns about offshore wind -- we invite you to join a series of community conversations about how Gippsland can make the most of offshore wind, and the renewable energy transformation that is already getting underway.

You can also sign up to lead a community conversation yourself, and we'll make sure to get you skilled up, leading discussions in your community.  


Become a volunteer

MEDIA RELEASE: Days after watershed climate election, inquiry shows Vic can go further on renewables & get off gas

The Victorian Parliament has today received evidence it can go further and faster on renewable energy to create jobs and cut emissions, just days after a watershed election dominated by the issue of climate change.

Friends of the Earth says the combined evidence of Victoria’s Parliamentary Inquiry into 100% renewable energy and strong public support for action on climate shows the Andrews government can demonstrate greater ambition.

“With the federal election result proving that political parties who take climate change seriously will be rewarded at the ballot box, will Vic Premier Dan Andrews seize the opportunity?" asked Friends of the Earth renewable energy spokesperson Pat Simons.

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Community tours site for Australia's first offshore wind farm

Victoria could soon be home to the country's first offshore wind farm, the flagship Star of the South offshore wind farm proposed in the Bass Strait off the coast of South Gippsland.

On 6th April 2022 our Gippsland campaigner Wendy Farmer joined a tour of the region by the offshore wind project's Community Advisory Group.

The group represents people from across Gippsland who have continued to work with the Star of the South team and surrounding communities. We toured the Port Welshpool area, known as the windiest place in Victoria, McLoughlins Beach, Reeves Beach and Giffard West allowing the group to take in the area surrounding the offshore wind farm, where project infrastructure would be located including proposed transmission lines.  

We also visited the Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park, an intricate network of waterways and islands, framed by the majesty of Wilsons Promontory. The park consists of shallow marine waters, isolated granite islands, intertidal mudflats and a complex of over 40 sand barrier islands. The wind farm itself will be built further out at sea, 7-25 kilometres east of the Gippsland South coastline. You can find more information about the location of the wind farm here at the Star of the South project website.
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Yes2Renewables Campaign Update - March, 2022

March 2022 has been a huge month for big renewable energy announcements in Victoria and marks an important turning point for the transition.

Victoria's epic offshore wind target a game changer for climate, jobs

Just over two weeks ago Victoria's Andrews government announced it will build a massive 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040 -- arguably the largest commitment to renewable energy in the state's history.

It is a game changer for the state's renewable energy transition and will help deliver the deep emissions cuts needed to prevent catastrophic climate impacts from getting worse. Not only that, it offers a real pathway for transitioning workers in coal, oil and gas into new jobs in renewables.

No wonder the announcement has already got fossil fuel lobbyists worried...

The announcement comes after years of campaigning for offshore wind by the union and climate movements and is a reminder of what we can achieve at the state level even when the federal government is trying to delay climate action. 

But our work is not over yet, this is just the beginning. Establishing an entire new offshore wind industry will be a huge task for the state. We'll be on deck to make sure offshore wind creates good jobs, and delivers good outcomes for the community and environment. For now, we're celebrating the good news.

Read the full story in The Age, featuring contributions from Yes2Renewables Coordinator Pat Simons.

WATCH: Victoria's Offshore Wind Leadership with Min. Lily D'Ambrosio

On Thursday March 10 just days after Victoria's game changing announcement on offshore wind, Vic Minister for Climate, Environment and Energy Lily D'Ambrosio joined Friends of the Earth and the Victorian Trades Hall Council for an online briefing to talk about what the plans means for jobs and state led action on climate change.

Thankyou to everyone who joined the call, you can watch the webinar in full here.

BLOG: Offshore wind and electrifying everything highlight at Vic 100% Renewables Inquiry, but fossil fuel lobby isn't happy

Last fortnight key energy experts, community and industry leaders fronted a Parliamentary Inquiry into how Victoria can reach 100% renewable energy, highlighting the opportunities to more rapidly transition Victoria’s energy supply to renewable energy over the next decade.

Taking Victoria all the way to 100% Renewables will create thousands of new jobs, deliver billions of dollars of regional investment across Western Victoria and Gippsland in particular, and create a pathway to transition workers in fossil fuel industries into new, ongoing careers. The possibility has drawn criticism from the fossil fuels industry, which clearly feels threatened.

Yes2Renewables was on deck following the full two days of the inquiry -- Read more about what went down at the Parliamentary Inquiry here.

Gippsland Update: Pieces of Latrobe Valley energy transition coming together

Gippsland's renewable energy transition is gathering pace, with coal closure dates being brought forward and big announcement for community owned renewable energy and offshore wind coming all at once.

Read Wendy Farmer's analysis of the big changes happening in Gippsland here.

Fed up Rokewood community gets organised for wind power

The Golden Plains wind farm proposed in Victoria will power 750,000 homes with clean energy and make a significant contribution to slashing Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions.

After facing years of delays, Rokewood landholders, neighbours and businesses have had a gutful, launching Rokewood for Wind Farms and a new campaign supporting this state-significan wind farm. In an open letter in The Ballarat Courier they say "The effects of climate change are real and our community wants to make a difference."

Follow the Rokewood community's campaign here on Facebook and support regional voices for wind power by signing their petition to get on with the Golden Plains wind farm.

Coal Face Podcast: After the Smoke — The Hazelwood Mine Fire with Wendy Farmer

Eight years ago the Hazelwood mine caught fire with devastating consequences to the people of the Latrobe Valley. Yes2Renewables Gippsland campaigner and President of Voices of the Valley Wendy Farmer joined local podcasters Josie and Steph to talk about how the Hazelwood mine fire changed the Latrobe Valley and the course of her life. 

Click here to listen.

Become a member, support the campaign

With some massive wins under our belt on offshore wind, Yes2Renewables is gearing up for another big year campaigning for wind and solar in regional Vic.

We've got exciting plans to kick off kitchen table conversations in Gippsland, run a series of creative events, and launch a new film project telling the story of the transition. We'll have more to say about all this soon...

None of that is possible without the support of the community.

Signing up as a regular member or making a donation to Yes2Renewables keeps our campaign on the road, connecting with regional communities and building power. We'd love to have your support:

Latest renewable energy news and blogs:

Victoria’s offshore wind plan is biggest thing since Loy Yang. Shame the media missed it, Dr Bruce Mountain, Reneweconomy

Offshore wind will come to Australian waters – as long as we pave the way for this new industry, Prof. Llewelyn Hughes & Dr Thomas Longden

It’s nonsense for Angus Taylor to suggest Australia could face an energy crisis like Europe’s, Adam Morton, The Guardian

Upcoming Events

  • Volunteer with Friends of the Earth - Intro, Thurs March 31, 5:30PM. RSVP NOW

Offshore wind and community owned renewable energy key pieces to Latrobe Valley's energy transition puzzle

writes Yes2Renewables Gippsland Campaigner Wendy Farmer.

The Latrobe Valley’s energy transition is like a puzzle that needs many pieces. And those puzzle pieces are starting to come together.

The start of 2022 has been defined by major announcements about closure dates for Victoria’s coal plants and the state government’s game changing plans to establish a new offshore wind industry for the state.

Meanwhile, a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the closure of the Yallourn and Hazelwood coal fired power stations got underway. The inquiry began hearings in November 2021, with further hearings held through February and March 2022, giving parliamentarians the chance to hear from many speakers from community groups, NGOs, local councils, energy experts and businesses about the need to plan for the future of energy security, reliability and jobs in the Latrobe Valley. 

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INQUIRY: Offshore wind and electrifying everything highlight at Vic 100% Renewables Inquiry, but fossil fuel lobby isn't happy

Just a week after the state government announced a massive target to build 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040, key energy experts, community and industry leaders fronted a Parliamentary Inquiry into how Victoria can reach 100% renewable energy over two days.

The hearings held on March 16-17 highlighted the opportunities to more rapidly transition Victoria’s energy supply to renewable energy over the next decade.

Taking Victoria all the way to 100% Renewables will create thousands of new jobs, deliver billions of dollars of regional investment across Western Victoria and Gippsland in particular, and create a pathway to transition workers in fossil fuel industries into new, ongoing careers. The possibility has drawn criticism from the fossil fuels industry, which clearly feels threatened.

The impending closure of Victoria’s ageing coal fired power stations and the need to create alternative sources of employment for regions like the Latrobe Valley was front and centre.

Energy market analyst Dr Dylan McConnell said that brown coal will exit the energy market by the early 2030s in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s “step-change” scenario.

This is now considered the most likely scenario by the majority of energy stakeholders. Dr McConnell pointed out that the impending closure of brown coal has big implications for the Latrobe Valley, and estimates this will require investing around $10 billion in new renewable energy and storage.

Dr McConnell estimates rolling out renewable energy as brown coal closes could create just over 40,000 construction jobs and 1850 jobs in local manufacturing.

As the coal industry declines, Greg Foyster from Environment Victoria said its essential governments support communities like the Latrobe Valley through the transition. Foyster said funding the Latrobe Valley Authority until the last coal plant closure will give the community the certainty they need to plan their lives and careers.

And with Victoria aiming high on offshore wind, a whole new renewable energy industry will be developed over the next decade in Gippsland, creating a real economic pathway for workers in the coal, oil and gas industries.

During the inquiry, Victoria’s ambitious offshore wind target clearly frustrated fossil fuel lobby group, the Australian Energy Council (AEC)  which attacked the policy and warned Victoria against ‘going it alone’, as covered her in the Australian Financial Review. The AEC represents the owners of Australia’s polluting coal and gas generators and has long opposed state-led action on climate change.

Following questioning by Leader of the Victorian Greens Samantha Ratnam the AEC was unable to explain how it will assist workers in the coal and gas industries transition to new careers as the need to act on the climate crisis only becomes more urgent, or offer any useful recommendations to ensure Victoria will benefit from the transition. 

Clearly the AEC doesn’t like the idea of coal and gas fired generators competing with a whole new source of renewable energy even if this will deliver the deep emissions cuts needed to prevent catastrophic climate impacts from getting worse. 

Watch the Webinar: Learn more about Victoria’s offshore wind leadership

The inquiry was also a chance to dig deeper into what’s needed to make sure the transition to renewable energy delivers for regional communities. 

In 2020, the Victorian government announced it will create six new ‘Renewable Energy Zones’ throughout the state to coordinate investment in wind, solar and transmission infrastructure. 

Tony Goodfellow from the RE-Alliance said it’s important to get the transition right and making sure regional communities are involved in decision about the future of the energy system will be key

Tony said the state government has a good opportunity to communicate to the Victorian public about the need for the energy transformation, why Renewable Energy Zones have been planned and what they will mean for people who live in regions where renewable energy will be built. This could be modelled on the Latrobe Valley Authority.

The need to get Victoria off gas was also a major focus of the inquiry. According to Environment Victoria, gas represents 15% of Victoria’s total emissions, with a significant portion of this being burned for heating and cooking in homes and businesses and in industrial activities. 

But there is a huge opportunity to scale up existing policies to electrify homes and businesses  – doing this would not only help cut pollution from gas it will also reduce power bills.

After launching a joint statement to get off gas alongside community allies earlier this year, Friends of the Earth is now writing a community roadmap for a gas-free Victoria. 

Sign the Joint Statement to Get off Gas

With technology changing rapidly, and governments making significant new announcements on offshore wind, Victoria has a huge opportunity to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, create thousands of jobs, deliver cheaper power and act on the climate crisis. 

Friends of the Earth will continue to track the inquiry into 100% Renewable Energy, and will be engaging with the state government and upper house MPs to make sure it delivers the outcomes we need for real action on climate change. 

Sign up here for updates about our campaign for 100% Renewable Energy.

WEBINAR: Victoria's Offshore Wind Leadership with Min. Lily D'Ambrosio

In March 2022, the Victorian government announced a major new offshore wind plan that will see the state build a massive 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040. It's an absolute game changer that will transform the energy system. 

On Thursday 10th March, Friends of the Earth and Victorian Trades Hall Council hosted a special event in conversation with Victoria Climate and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, who provided an online briefing about the major announcement.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt historic offshore wind announcement a game changer for Victoria’s energy transition

MEDIA RELEASE - 4 March 2022

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Victorian government’s announcement of a target to build 9 Gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040.

The announcement is a game changer for state-led efforts to create jobs while tackling climate change.

“The Andrews government’s announcement positions Victoria as a national leader in offshore wind – a critical sector for the state’s energy transition.” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

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