By Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy, Tasmania
The Tasmanian energy sector has a long history of innovation in developing clean, low-cost and reliable energy sources. This innovation and hard work has been supported by some of the best renewable energy resources on the planet, in particular, our world class wind and water resources.
Our competitive edge has never been more important. Energy systems in Australia and globally are undergoing a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables-based energy generation.
Recently, Tasmania further progressed its renewable energy journey and reached the historic landmark in becoming 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy. This has confirmed our status as a world leader in renewable energy generation.We are very proud that our State is the first in Australia and one of only a handful of jurisdictions in the world to achieve this target, delivering on a key Liberal Government commitment from the 2018 election. We have reached 100 per cent thanks to our commitment to realising Tasmania’s renewable energy potential through our nation-leading energy policies and making Tasmania attractive for industry investment, which in turn is creating jobs across the State, particularly in our regions.
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This landmark achievement was realised when the 29th of 31 wind turbines at Granville Harbour officially came online in late-November. When the final two turbines are commissioned at Granville Harbour, Tasmania will have access to 10,741 GWh of renewable generating capacity – well above our average annual electricity demand of 10,500 GWhrs. Tasmania has what the nation wants and needs in affordable, reliable and clean renewable energy, and this confirms we are seizing our State’s immense renewable energy potential to help grow our economy and create jobs, many in regional areas.
But there is more to do, which is why we have set a target to double our renewable generation to a global-leading target of 200 per cent of our current needs by 2040 – which we recently passed into law following the passing of legislation through both Houses of Parliament.
The recently released Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan also clearly outlines how Tasmania will achieve our immense renewable energy potential, setting clear targets and actions that will build on Tasmania’s natural competitive advantages, attract large scale investment and significantly grow and expand Tasmania’s renewable energy sector into the future.
It will establish the platform to transform Tasmania from being Australia’s renewable energy powerhouse into a world leading provider of clean, reliable and affordable energy.
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It also includes our firm commitment to achieving the lowest regulated electricity prices in Australia for residential and small business customers by 2022.
We are well on track to achieve this target, but we can and will do more.
The Project Marinus and Battery of the Nation Memorandum of Understanding, signed with the Australian Government earlier this month, is another major milestone on Tasmania’s journey to being the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia.
The MOU will help to further unlock Tasmania’s renewable energy potential, with thousands of jobs and over $7 billion in economic activity set to flow as a result. We have also completed the initial funding round of our $50 million Renewable Hydrogen Industry support package and commenced the rollout of the $16 million Energising Tasmania skills and training initiative, supporting the development of the skilled workforce our renewable energy future will need.
Our Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan aims to use our abundant existing and expandable renewable energy resources to commence production of renewable hydrogen by 2022-24, and to be a global producer and exporter of hydrogen by 2030
Tasmania is well placed to become Australia’s renewable hydrogen epicentre, and we are taking action to ensure we seize the immense opportunities that this exciting new industry represents.