Today marks the celebration of Global Wind Day, which acknowledges the leading role for wind energy in building a decarbonised electricity grid and as a leading contributor to Australian and global commitments to combat climate change.
As outlined in the latest Clean Energy Australia report, wind farms accounted for 36 per cent of renewable generation, and 13 per cent of total generation capacity, respectively. Victoria remains the leading state for wind generation, accounting for 34 per cent of total capacity across Australia, followed by South Australia (22 per cent) and New South Wales (21 per cent).
Eight new wind farms were commissioned across Australia in 2022, amounting to 1410 MW of additional capacity, with the largest completed project being Goldwind’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in regional Victoria, capable of generating 531 MW of electricity from a total of 149 turbines.
A record 19 onshore wind projects totalling 5.4 GW are currently under construction or financially committed in early 2023, while planned offshore wind projects are set to deliver an additional 50 GW once built, representing a substantial capacity boost.
Both of these ground-breaking developments also signal growing interest and confidence in the capability of Australia’s wind energy resources to meet future demand on the energy system.
“With significant growth in wind power, including the expected first ever offshore feasibility licences later in 2023, wind energy has enormous potential to be the backbone of Australia’s renewable energy transformation,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners Legal Manager, Amelia Hanscombe, is Australia’s Ambassador to the Global Wind Energy Council’s Women in Wind Global Leadership Program.
An energy lawyer working across different segments of the clean energy transition, Hanscombe said that Australia’s growing wind energy sector offers opportunities for women across a plethora of skills and occupations, including those not commonly associated with the development of wind farms.
“In my experience, the deeply interconnected process by which a wind farm is brought to life – from an ‘x’ on a map right through to construction and operations – provides enormous opportunity for diversity across professional backgrounds, including engineering, finance, construction, environmental sciences, business, communications, and law, among many others.
“The increasing participation of women in the clean energy sector, particularly in wind, demonstrates that we are making progress. This progress wouldn’t be possible without a concerted effort by those already within the sector to welcome new faces – especially through mentorship programs like the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables program, and the Global Wind Energy Council’s Global Ambassadors for Women in Wind, which I am proud to be a part of.”
2023 also saw the release of the Clean Energy Council’s landmark report, Winding Up: Decommissioning, Recycling and Waste Management of Australian Wind Turbines, examining the scope and scale of reuse, repurposing and recycling of wind turbines, as some of Australia’s oldest wind farms begin to approach the threshold for retirement.
“With 31 wind farms that are over 15 years old in 2023, Australia’s wind energy sector has a leading role to play in integrating sustainability into their supply chain, and building a circular economy of the future,” said Thornton.
“As Australia’s clean energy future continues to be driven by the growth of wind power, a multitude of approaches exist for giving wind turbine components and materials a new lease on life, with the sector seeking to go further in eventually eliminating waste disposal from end-of-life pathways.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Clean Energy Council Public Affairs Manager
+61 409 470 683