RP3 Offshore Renewable Energy Systems (ORES) Program
Mark Hemer, CSIRO
Offshore wind energy is growing rapidly globally but so far the consensus in Australia is its role is limited.
For example, it is treated haphazardly in AEMO’s assessment of renewable energy resources for the Integrated System Plan, and feedback to the BECRC and partners from ARENA when proposing an offshore wind infrastructure project was it remained unclear what role Offshore Wind might play in Australia, and what role the Commonwealth could play in developing sector were it to progress, owing to the high capital requirements.
However, offshore wind merits serious consideration.
Globally, the cost of offshore wind is falling rapidly; high capacity factor wind can diversify clean energy generation; and it can connect into the network and displace current coal-based generation across regions (Newcastle/Hunter, Bass Strait/La Trobe Valley) to utilise existing infrastructure.
The development of offshore wind can support a just-transition by redeploying workers from the coal, oil and gas sectors.
The aim of the project is to re-evaluate the feasibility and potential of offshore wind and identify barriers to its large scale development to contribute to Australia’s large scale energy needs based on desktop review, resource mapping, bespoke modelling and survey data.
The emphasis of this study is on grid-connected offshore wind opportunities – this being fit for the maturity of offshore wind technologies, and the larger market opportunities this presents for the sector.
The outcomes of this work will provide communication materials to support Blue Economy CRC messaging on the role for offshore renewable energy in Australia. Knowledge gaps identified through the scoping activity will help define future activities/projects the CRC might pursue to support future offshore wind projects in Australia.