Renewable Energy: A sector that continues to gather pace

With sustainable and low carbon agendas driving our communities and economies, it is certain that renewable energy generation will continue to integrate itself into the Australian domestic market.

Australia and renewables

“… Wind and solar have emerged as the most viable new sources of zero-emissions energy going into the future, as the sources have overcome the cost, scale and social challenges faced by other energy sources, including nuclear, biofuels and wave or tidal energy.”

– Dr. Alan Finkel, 2019 Australian Clean Energy Summit

The recent 2019 Australian Clean Energy Summit demonstrated that the integration of renewables can take on many forms. These include:

  • utility scale wind and solar,
  • increased energy efficiency programs,
  • micro/domestic scale renewable energy generation, and
  • energy storage technology

As renewables increase, Australia’s reliability on coal continues to diminish. Coal-fired generators are aging with nearly all of the country’s currently operating coal capacity predicted to reach the end of their life by 2050. As coal-fired generators retire, utility scale renewable energy generation with firming technologies to enable dispatchable generation will be the most likely source of new generation in the market. This is a result of new renewable energy generation being the cheapest source of new electricity supply in Australia, with costs expected to continue to decline.

How we work with wind and solar

With the energy transition well underway, we have been actively supporting renewable energy developers navigate the often complex State and Federal planning approvals process. We do this by providing technical studies and approvals and regulatory advice across ecology, noise, water, soils and social.

We adopt a best for project approach to all our projects to ensure that quality outcomes are achieved and client aspirations are met. Utilising our experienced staff, we reduce the risk of unnecessary schedule delays and restrictive project commitments post-approval.

An experienced renewables team

We are proud to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy, and work alongside some of the country’s leading renewable energy providers on politically complex and scale diverse renewable energy schemes.

Our team understands the intricacies of technical assessments for wind farms, solar farms and battery projects to ensure a constructible project is progressed through the planning process. Our National Renewable Energy Sector Lead, Mark Herod, has been involved with five out of the six wind farm approvals in Queensland since the introduction of State code 23: Wind farm development and the supporting Planning Guideline in 2016. This experience is rare in the industry and allows our team to efficiently guide projects through the state’s planning process.

Our specialist team of ecologists are engaged on some of Australia’s largest and most important wind farm developments; providing expert advice around the complex biodiversity assessment requirements – particularly in respect to bird and bat impact assessments.

Conclusion

Utilising the breadth of our experience and by working closely with our clients, we aim to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy and drive a sustainable future for our communities.