Offshore renewable energy includes offshore wind farms, wave and tidal power as well as emerging technologies like ocean thermal energy.
Developing the offshore renewable energy sector supports the Australian Government’s objective to deliver a reliable, secure and affordable energy system through:
Offshore renewable energy generation can:
The government has introduced the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 to the Australian Parliament:
The framework will regulate offshore renewable energy and electricity transmission projects. It will enable the construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore electricity infrastructure in Australian Commonwealth waters.
Australian Commonwealth waters start 3 nautical miles from the coastline and extend to the boundary of Australia’s exclusive economic zone.
The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) may be appointed to administer licences for offshore projects. The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) will oversee ongoing operations and safety.
Consultation with other maritime users has been a priority in developing the framework. We consulted on the proposed regulatory framework in early 2020.
The Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 requires a licence for the construction and operation of offshore electricity generation and transmission infrastructure.
Subject to existing regulations, some exploration or feasibility activities can begin without a licence. This includes:
The government issued the Star of the South a deed of licence before the introduction of the new regulatory framework. It enables exploration in Australian Commonwealth waters off the Gippsland coast of Victoria. This is valid for 5 years with the potential to extend for another 2 years.
The exploration licence does not provide the right to build or operate an offshore wind farm. The Star of the South will require a license under the new framework before building infrastructure.
If you are interested in further details on the framework or how to participate in the scheme:
Last updated: 13 September 2021
Content ID: 67614