The Australian Government has introduced legislation to unlock a wave of new investment in offshore electricity generation and transmission projects. The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 will establish a framework for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of offshore electricity projects.
"An offshore electricity industry in Australia will further strengthen our economy, create jobs and opportunities for Australians, and enhance the delivery of affordable and reliable power," Minister Taylor said. "A new offshore industry, enabled by this Bill, represents an important new opportunity for Australia. Offshore generation and transmission can deliver significant benefits to all Australians through a more secure and reliable electricity system, and create thousands of new jobs and business opportunities in regional Australia. Importantly this Bill will accelerate a number of projects already under development like the Marinus Link transmission line, which will connect the mainland to Tasmania's Battery of the Nation project."
In addition to the Marinus Link transmission line, passage of this Bill will help progress a number of projects that are already under development including 'Star of the South' off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria, and 'Sun Cable' in our north. Combined, Marinus Link, Star of the South and Sun Cable are estimated to be worth over $10 billion and are expected to create over 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities during construction. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Off-Grid Zero-Emission kW-MW 2020-2040.
The legislation covers infrastructure projects for offshore electricity transmission cables and offshore renewable energy generation, including offshore wind and ensures co-existence with other users of the offshore area would be managed from the start. The legislation safeguards the environment and requires project developers to make financial commitments to properly decommission projects when they are no longer productive. This ensures tax payers do not foot the bill for removal of any retired assets in the future.
Under the legislation, the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) will oversee licences for offshore projects, while the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) will have oversight of ongoing operations and safety. Significant consultation with a wide range of industry and stakeholders has informed the development of this world-leading regulatory framework.
Source: Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Australia
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