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Renew Economy:

Australia may soon be host to a new source of renewable energy after long awaited legislation that will enable offshore wind projects to be built in commonwealth waters was finally tabled in parliament on Thursday by federal energy minister Angus Taylor.

Offshore wind has stunned many in the industry for its ability to rapidly reduce costs in recent years, and it is now the major focus of multi-gigawatt scale projects in Europe, north America and Asia.

Australia has excellent offshore wind resources, particularly in the southern half, and there are about 12 prospective projects identified by a range of ambitious developers. But none have been able to built yet because there is no legislation that allows it.

Taylor, who made his name as an opponent of land-based wind farms before he entered parliament, said offshore wind presented an “exciting opportunity” for Australia, and noted a number of developers who had expressed interest in building such projects.

“This will deliver significant local benefits,” Taylor told parliament as he introduced the bill that will provide a regulatory framework and clarity over access arrangements. “It will help secure a more reliable energy system … and put downward pressure on wholesale prices.”

[Giles Parkinson]

More: Offshore wind set for take off in Australia as legislation tabled in parliament

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