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South Australia to introduce hydrogen Act

17th May 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The South Australian government this week announced details to establish a world-first Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act, aimed at slashing red tape, streamlining processes, and building the region’s leadership in decarbonsiation.

There are currently a number of acts covering renewable energy projects, including the Electricity Act, Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act, Landscapes SA Act, Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act, Gas Act, and Harbors and the Navigations Act.

The state government said in a statement that the new Act would streamline processes for companies wanting to invest in large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy projects, into a single regulatory process covering the entire project lifecycle.

The Act will facilitate secure land access, social and environmental benefits and put First Nations people at the centre of the transformation, in line with leading environment, social and governance requirements. This will achieve a fair transition and reduce risk for investors.

Under the Act, which is now under consultation, government-owned land and waters where renewable energy projects can be hosted will be identified by the South Australian government, and companies would compete for licences to access government-owned land and waters to deliver these projects.

Furthermore, 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, and a framework will ensure that developments are delivered with net environmental benefit. Additionally, 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.

“South Australia is already a world leader when it comes to renewable energy, now we want to make it as easy as possible for companies to invest in our state,” said Premier Peter Malinauskas.

“This world-first Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act will establish an orderly, fit-for-purpose system to ensure that developments are assisted by a ‘one window to government’ approach.

“In just over 15 years, our state has transformed its energy source from 1% to more than 70% renewable energy. Now we need to take the next step to increase our renewables share even further.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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