The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Bill 2023 for an Act to facilitate and regulate the generation of hydrogen and renewable energy in certain areas of South Australia has passed both Houses of Parliament.
South Australia’s renewable energy sector is growing rapidly and there is tremendous potential for the state to become a global leader in renewable energy production and supply, delivering benefit to all South Australians.
With our abundant renewable resources, South Australia is well-positioned to capitalise on the local and international shift towards clean, renewable fuel sources.
There is a significant amount of interest in establishing renewable energy projects on freehold land across the state, as well as on government-owned pastoral lands and state waters, which are co-owned by Native Title groups.
For South Australia to develop a sustainable industry that provides the best outcomes for communities, respects Native Title and delivers net environmental benefit, we need a fit-for purpose regulatory framework in place.
The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act introduces a ‘one window to government’ licencing and regulatory system for the lifecycle of large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy projects in South Australia.
Under the Act:
- Government owned land and waters where renewable energy projects can be hosted will be identified by the South Australian Government
- Companies will compete for licences to access government owned land and waters to deliver these projects
- New, fit for purpose licensing arrangements will be established for projects across all land types, enabling regulation of the whole project life cycle
- First Nations people’s rights and interests will be considered early and throughout the regulatory processes
- A framework will ensure that developments are delivered with net environmental benefit
- Requirements will be put in place to ensure land is rehabilitated and returned to pre-existing conditions; and
- Multiple land use provisions will be sought to deliver fair outcomes for landowners, communities and other pre-existing land rights holders.
The draft Bill was developed following feedback from a previous consultation regarding the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Issues Paper.
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