According to a research by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre, Australia has 2,233 GW of ‘technically accessible resource’ in offshore wind and a ‘major obstacle to investment and development’ due to a lack of a legislative framework that would assist it.

According to the report, the 2.23 TW of ‘technically accessible resource’ is defined as offshore wind potential within 100 km of coast, at ocean depths less than 1,000 metres, within 100 km of substations and transmission lines, and avoiding ecologically prohibited regions.

According to the research, the estimated technical resource is significantly in excess of present and forecast energy demand across Australia’s electrical markets. However, Australia’s primary roadblock to realising its huge buildable offshore wind potential is the lack of a legislative framework that allows for quick permitting and leasing decisions for offshore renewable energy. The Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre has proposed the establishment of an offshore renewable energy regulatory system. According to the paper, consultation on a proposed regulatory framework for the Commonwealth Government has been ongoing since early 2020.

Because offshore wind projects frequently straddle Commonwealth and State authorities, the framework should examine how to offer complementary mechanisms for activities that take place in both Commonwealth and State seas. Offshore wind has the potential to become a substantial source of employment for offshore oil and gas workers, as well as diversify coal export ports and create jobs in coal areas.