Renewables Opportunity Map

Places Completed

One of the four pillars in the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) is Investing in Places. This is a challenging space for RDAs. At the 2023 National Conference for RDA, it was clearly articulated that the federal government wants to see RDAs active in leading and encouraging net zero transition.

The opportunity to commission a high-level opportunity analysis of the Mid North Coast arose and RDAMNC have engaged ANU to undertake this study, which would identify the areas where wind, offshore wind, pumped hydro and commercial solar installations could be developed.

Once the opportunity analysis has been completed, RDAMNC will do the following:

  1. Meet with each General Manager of the Councils in our region and discuss the opportunities
  2. Offer to facilitate community consultation on the outcome of this report
  3. Produce a supplementary report for the state government and federal government that summarises the community feedback and outcomes
  4. Consider producing a regional plan for renewable energy to provide to the investment community which provides the ‘green light’ for detailed business cases.

Project Update March 2024

RDA Mid North Coast commissioned Australian National University to review the region of the Mid North Coast and provide an overview of the opportunities that exist for renewable energy production in the region. The rationale is that the Mid North Coast needs to be proactive and lead into the energy transition by seeking to partner and collaborate to bring to fruition the opportunities that exists in the region.

The report emphatically states that there is no shortage of opportunities in Australia for renewable energy production. What will make the difference is communities that lead into the transition and proactively seek to benefit from the value that energy decarbonisation represents.

Key points:

  • Significant opportunities exist in our region for renewable energy production, with the northern region solar opportunities being an incredible asset
  • This is an incredibly competitive sector, with the people and regions standing to benefit being those who welcome the opportunity to benefit from the inevitable transition
  • We have considerable opportunity with off-shore (with appropriate community consultation) which should be considered, with the view to being early adopters
  • It is essential that we continue to deploy rooftop solar on public assets, and encourage the community uptake of the technology
  • We have a significant opportunity to connect Queensland and New South Wales and should commission a detailed study into high-voltage transmission network possibilities for the region which will require significant focus on gaining social licence from the community
  • Our region has the potential to be the “Natural Battery of New South Wales” with the outstanding opportunities available to the region in pumped hydro long duration storage – a fundamental key to the successful transition of NSW
  • We note the reservation on green hydrogen and recognise the need to focus energy and attention on electrification of the grid before green hydrogen is a truly green solution – however, it is worth keeping fingers on the pulse to ensure no opportunity is unnecessarily missed and we are prepared to take advantage of the technology once electrification of the grid is further advanced.

Next steps: RDA Mid North Coast will be working with key local, regional, state and federal stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities in the region. A key focus for the RDA will be community engagement and liaising with industry and government to facilitate the best outcomes for the region with the knowledge contained in this Report, as per steps 1,2 and 4 above.

Download the report here.

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