Australia’s offshore wind industry just became a reality after the Victorian government announced a ground-breaking new target to build 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2040, establishing an entirely new clean energy sector.
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze welcomed the news and said it would result in thousands of good, long-term jobs in regional areas, especially in Gippsland.
“This is a deeply impressive announcement on renewable energy that will kick start one of the most important industries for solving the climate crisis.
“Offshore wind is the missing piece of Australia’s energy puzzle and one of the biggest levers we have to cut pollution while boosting the economy and creating good local jobs. By harnessing strong, steady ocean winds, offshore wind towers can provide cheap and reliable power for our local manufacturing industry.
“The government estimates 6000 jobs will be created and it’s important to point out these are long-term jobs. The government’s directions paper also shows Gippsland has the best offshore wind potential, creating massive new employment opportunities as the region moves beyond coal.
“The long-term commitment in this plan also gives industry the certainty it needs to turbocharge investment.
“It’s hard to underscore just how big this is. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s blueprint for the electricity grid doesn’t currently forecast a large role for offshore wind, so with this announcement Victoria is literally re-writing the nation’s energy transition.
“Like so many climate solutions, the development of an offshore wind industry in Australia has been delayed by the federal government’s chaos and failure. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor took years to progress the legislation that would enable projects to proceed, and it only passed in November 2021.
“Now Victoria has seized the opportunity to lead the country on offshore wind, bringing a massive jobs and investment boom to our state.
“We’re pleased to see the government has also committed to working closely with Traditional Owners, unions and the community to make sure it’s done right and the benefits are shared.
“We congratulate the Premier and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio for showing leadership on offshore wind today. After a week of devastating floods, made worse by global warming, it’s heartening to see a government announcing a solution to the climate crises that matches the scale of the problem we face.”
“It’s uplifting news at a time when we really need it,” said CEO of Environment Victoria Jono La Nauze.
Greg Foyster, Acting Campaigns Manager