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.
In the absence of federal leadership on energy and climate policy, the Victorian government’s announcement puts the state alongside the US and UK which have set aggressive targets for offshore wind.
Victoria will set three new minimum targets for offshore wind: 2 GW by 2032, 4 GW by 2035, and 9 GW by 2040.
“Establishing an offshore wind sector in Victoria will be critical for delivering the deep emissions cuts needed to avoid worsening climate impacts” said Pat Simons.
Friends of the Earth says the announcement demonstrates the Victorian government is listening to the community’s call to roll-out renewable energy and tackle the climate crisis, and its commitment to delivering Victoria’s emissions reduction targets.
University of Melbourne modelling commissioned by Friends of the Earth in 2021 found that the Star of the South offshore wind farm is critical to delivering state climate targets, and would create as many as 1,400 construction jobs and up to 600 ongoing jobs over a 25 year lifespan.
This announcement is a win for the Gippsland community, the climate movement and union movement which have been campaigning to kickstart a jobs-rich offshore wind sector.
“Gippslanders are proud of their history and expertise in powering Victoria. This offshore wind target provides certainty about the future of energy that communities have been calling for,” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s Gippsland campaigner.
With the Yallourn coal fired power station set to close by 2028 at the latest, communities like the Latrobe Valley need all governments to show leadership on renewable energy.
“Will we see the Federal Morrison government match Victoria’s ambition on offshore wind?” asked Wendy Farmer.
“It’s time for Energy Minister Angus Taylor to get on with a Gippsland Offshore Wind Zone so these critical projects can get started.”
Pat Simons [email protected] 0415 789 961
Wendy Farmer: [email protected] 0408 261 551