Victoria’s offshore wind targets signals ‘bright future’

Offshore wind farm against beautiful orange sunset (bunbury)
Image: Shutterstock

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled a series of Australian-first offshore wind targets in his first “state of the state” address in two years.

Victoria’s offshore wind plan, which includes a 2035 target of 4GW, follows a commitment last November by the Victorian government to provide $40 million to run feasibility and pre-construction studies for three projects, which could generate a total 4.7GW.

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The most advanced of those is the $9 billion Star of the South project, aiming for a capacity of up to 2.2GW, led by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

Victoria’s coal-fired power plants are due to shut by 2045, but industry experts expect them to close well before that as coal-fired power becomes increasingly uncompetitive amid rapid growth in wind and solar capacity.

The Clean Energy Council says offshore wind is set to provide a bright new future for Victorian industry, with news of the state government’s commitment to ensuring massive growth in this emerging sector over the next decade.

“[This] announcement locks in a major offshore wind industry for Victoria,” Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said.

“Offshore wind is no longer a possibility; it’s becoming a certainty. Victoria is now leading the nation on offshore wind and is positioning itself to reap the benefits of being at the forefront of this game-changing industry.

“The Clean Energy Council is looking forward to working with the Victorian Government to get this critical industry into the fast lane and to ensure these nation-leading targets are met.”

The US and UK have also set strong targets for offshore wind—30 and 40 GW by 2030, respectively—so it’s likely there will be significant cost reductions in the coming decade, which have so far been a barrier to the development of the industry here.  

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“Offshore wind projects and their proximity to regions most impacted by the retirement of fossil fuel generators will provide critical job opportunities for workers and their communities,” Thornton said.

“With state government and industry working together, we can ensure a steady delivery of these commitments in a way that provides stability for local workers and suppliers.”

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