South Australia achieves global first with landmark Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act
The bill, which received unanimous support from the Legislative Council, aims to establish a modern legislative framework tailored to the burgeoning hydrogen and renewable energy industries.
At the core of the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act is its focus on streamlining processes for companies interested in investing in large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy projects within the state. This includes addressing critical issues such as land access, environmental impacts, and native title rights through a consolidated regulatory process.
"This is a historic day for South Australia. We’ve passed world-first legislation that is set to transform the state’s economy. Global policy makers will be closely watching what we managed to achieve today," SA Energy and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.
"The passage of this Bill through Parliament marks a significant milestone in the state’s energy transition, and in our journey as a leader in the clean energy revolution and the economic opportunities it provides".
One of the innovative features introduced by the Act is the concept of release areas on government-owned land. These areas will serve as competitive spaces where developers and investors can vie for access to some of the world's finest wind and solar resources, ensuring that projects selected align with regional and state socio-economic and environmental priorities.
The Act also underscores the importance of extensive community and landholder consultations, ensuring that proposed hydrogen and renewable energy projects align with the expectations of responsible development within local communities.
As South Australia gears up to implement the new legislation, the government remains committed to collaborating with stakeholders and rights holders to establish associated regulations and identify release areas for competitive tender. The focus remains on getting the legislative and regulatory framework right to capitalize on the state's renewable energy potential for future generations.