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Australian Wind Industry Summit 2023 brings community engagement and environmental best practices into the spotlight

With Australia’s wind energy sector accounting for 13 per cent of total generation and growing by an additional 1411 MW of capacity in 2022, constructive engagement by industry to address social and environmental impacts will take centre stage at the sold-out 2023 Australian Wind Industry Summit (AWIS).

A plethora of local communities across Australia already host onshore wind farms; in coming years, wind farms will be built in new areas, including some coastal regions set to welcome Australia’s first offshore wind farms later this decade.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said that establishing a benchmark for dialogue with residents, community groups, First Nations representatives, local government, and other stakeholders, and meeting sustainability challenges are a highlight of the program for both onshore and offshore streams of the summit in 2023.

“As wind farms become a more prominent fixture in our energy landscape, the focus of industry is to engage meaningfully with local communities around Australia, build trust, and exercise sensible judgement based on scientific evidence when operating in proximity to the natural environment, both on land and at sea,” he said.

The onshore panel, ‘Good Neighbours Make Good Friends – Best Practice Environmental and Social Outcomes’, will be discussing meeting community expectations and environmental standards, with an emphasis on establishing and maintaining social licence, with guest speakers:

  • Felicity Taylor-Edwards, Squadron (Chair)
  • William Churchill, Acciona
  • Brooke Marshall, NGH
  • Anthony Russo, Ark Energy
  • Tom Jenkins, Neoen

Squadron Energy Regional Economic Development Facilitator, Felicity Taylor-Edwards, said that the onshore panel’s discussion will focus on the continued growth of onshore wind farms as a proportion of Australia’s energy generation capacity, and the role of industry in demonstrating their benefit to local communities.

“Central to the discussion of onshore wind farms will be initiatives undertaken by industry to best protect and conserve the environment around development sites and at the same time, forge stronger relationships with communities based on trust, transparency and collaboration,” she said.

The offshore panel, ‘Sharing the Ocean – Best Practice Environmental and Social Outcomes’, will be focussing on regional marine studies and impact minimisation, engagement with First Nations perspectives, and community benefit-sharing initiatives, with guest speakers:

  • Megan Wheatley, Wheatley Young Partners (Chair)
  • Cameron Grebe, NOPSEMA
  • Christine Lamont, RPS
  • Daniel Miller, GLaWAC
  • Rosie King, Energy Estate

Wheatley Young Partners Director, Megan Wheatley, said that the offshore panel’s discussion pre-empts the growth of offshore wind and is a timely opportunity to consider what best-practice looks like for people and the environment.

“With the first offshore wind farms in Australia to be developed soon, this year’s summit will explore how the clean energy industry can build trust with other marine users to ensure offshore wind delivers not only a clean energy transition but a just transition for communities and positive outcomes for the environment,” she said.

The Australian Wind Industry Summit is now sold out. Don’t miss the Clean Energy Council’s next unmissable event, the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney this coming 18-19 July.


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jane Aubrey

Clean Energy Council Public Affairs Manager

[email protected]

+61 409 470 683