Offshore wind farms are tipped to become another source of renewable energy in Australia with about a dozen project applications submitted across the country.

Offshore wind farms are tipped to become another source of renewable energy in Australia with about a dozen project applications submitted across the country.

A report by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre suggests the industry could create up to 8,000 jobs each year from 2030.

But the associate professor and research director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Sven Teske, said energy production from Australian offshore wind farms could become a reality much sooner.

“We have 13 or 14 applications on the lists, so it’s developing rapidly,” Dr Teske said.

“Star of the South, one of the projects in Victoria and probably the furthest along in terms of development could actually start production around 2024 or 2025.”

He said Australia had some of the best offshore wind resources in the world.

“Australia has wind resources, which are good enough to provide baseload electricity generation from wind,” Dr Teske said.

“In the long run, there is potential not just to generate electricity for us here in Australia, but also to produce hydrogen and export that energy into other countries — so that’s a huge advantage.”

With offshore wind farm technology “taking off” globally, Dr Teske says this emerging new sector could play a key role to help phase out fossil fuels

Dr Teske said Australia had really good onshore wind resources and also solar resources.

“So it was seen that there was no need for offshore wind,” he said.

“But offshore wind became very economic, and it requires similar skills in terms of employment as offshore oil and offshore gas.

“So, the transition from offshore oil and gas towards offshore wind is a very appealing one.”

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Coastal town on radar

The latest project development application by SA OffShore Windfarm is mooted for Kingston in the south-east of South Australia and if successful, construction will begin in 2024.

The project would comprise up to 75 offshore wind turbine generators with the capacity to generate 600 megawatts of power – enough to power over 400,000 SA homes.

Kingston District Council chief executive Nat Traeger said the $1.75 billion project presented a range of economic opportunities for the town.

“Kingston District Council is thwarted with significant coastal issues,” she said.

“So I guess my first thought was about what sort of benefits this could bring to address those things that stand in the way.

“It also has to be built, so there’s 800 employees during a two-year construction phase and then 100 employees for operational maintenance thereafter.

“If it goes ahead it will be an absolutely huge economic windfall for our community and the whole Limestone Coast.”

However, Ms Traeger said the project was still at a very early pre-planning application stage.

“My understanding is there’s been quite a bit of preliminary marine environmental assessment being done,” she said.

“There’s also infrastructure and native title issues that will have to be worked through as well.

“We’re trying to keep our excitement under control.”

Source ABC.Net

By Arsalan Ahmad

Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. LinkedIn: