Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that Marinus Link, a second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, will be fast-tracked to unlock Tasmania’s significant renewable energy potential as part of Australia’s recovery from COVID-19.
Marinus Link is one of 15 projects that will be prioritised under a new agreement between the Commonwealth states and territories announced today by the prime minister. Together, these projects are worth $72 billion in public and private investment and are estimated to create 66,000 jobs.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said the green light for Marinus Link is a positive step for Australia’s low emissions future and would be critical to bringing forward renewable energy projects across Tasmania and southern Australia and in turn drive down power prices for all Australians.
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“Marinus Link will allow Tasmania to export its considerable pumped hydro and wind energy resources to the National Electricity Market (NEM), and open up further investment opportunities in renewables in the process,” Mr Thornton said.
“Australia is transitioning to a more flexible, low cost and clean energy system. Renewable energy development goes hand in hand with investment in transmission and energy storage. These are long-term projects that will provide steady, secure and value-adding employment in Australia.”
A TasNetworks feasibility study, published late last year, found that Marinus Link would boost regional economies in Tasmania and Victoria to the tune of over $2.9 billion through increased employment and broader economic value. The study also found that the additional 1500 MW capacity across Bass Strait will unlock broader added value for the Tasmanian economy estimated to be up to $5.7 billion through renewable energy developments, including new wind farms and pumped hydro energy storage.
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In May, the Clean Energy Council outlined its plan to utilise Australia’s extraordinary renewable energy and energy storage potential to jumpstart Australia’s economic resurgence in the wake of COVID-19.
“There are hundreds of large-scale wind and solar projects that have been identified with planning approval and are well placed to proceed quickly,” Mr Thornton said.
“By accelerating approvals, $50 billion of investment could be added to our economy, while more than 30,000 MW of capacity and more than 50,000 new jobs in constructing these projects, along with many more indirect jobs, would cement Australia’s position as a clean energy superpower.”