Sector - Environment

New study highlights UK role in Australia’s wind energy growth

A new study highlights significant opportunities for the UK to share its windfarm expertise with Australia’s burgeoning offshore wind (OSW) market.

The ‘Australian Offshore Wind Market Study’, conducted by Arup, evaluates potential Australian OSW markets and analyses the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for UK support.

Key findings indicate that the Australian OSW market could substantially benefit from collaboration with UK suppliers, given the UK’s 23 years of experience and its status as the second-largest OSW market globally, boasting 13.9GW of installed capacity as of 2023.

Despite Australia’s current lack of OSW capacity, the country has over 40 OSW projects proposed for development. Notably, the award of OSW feasibility licences for Victoria’s Gippsland area are expected to be announced soon and feasibility applications in New South Wales’ 1,854km² Hunter Zone, designated for OSW development in July, are due this month.

The report also acknowledges challenges including market distance, local content requirements and public perception. Addressing these will be facilitated by the recent UK-Australia free trade agreement, enabling tariff-free exports of key components such as inter-array cables, dynamic cable products and wind turbine blades.

The Deputy High Commissioner to Australia, Nick Crouch, launched the report at a special event at the British Consulate-General in Sydney.

Mr Crouch said: “Launching this report a week before COP 28 in Dubai is significant. COP 28 comes at a crucial moment, and a priority for the UK is to ensure that this COP delivers an outcome that puts the world on track to keep temperature rise below 1.5⁰C.

“The UK / Australia climate partnership is responding to the challenge as our two countries deliver our net zero commitments.

“Offshore wind can have a role in Australia’s energy transition, and I am pleased that the UK can offer its expertise to Australia’s expanding market.”

NSW Consul-General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Louise Cantillon said: “As a pioneer in addressing climate change and decarbonising its economy, the UK was the first major economy to commit into law to Net Zero by 2050.

“This report shows that we are well-positioned to assist and collaborate with markets like Australia in meeting their energy transition goals.”

Arup’s Offshore Wind Leader for Australasia Damon Sunderland said: “Our analysis is helping shape investment and collaboration opportunities needed for growing Australia’s offshore wind market – a critical market for creating a scalable renewable energy supply.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) commissioned Arup for this report to aid the successful development of OSW in Australia and explore further collaborative opportunities with UK businesses and suppliers.

Arup is a global collective of designers, consultants and experts dedicated to sustainable development. They collaborated with local and international industry for additional insights.

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