The bill, thought to be the first such piece of legislation in Australia, is “designed to provide a coordinated approach to the burgeoning hydrogen and renewable energy industries”, according to the state government.
Following a surge in renewable energy capacity in South Australia, the state’s department for energy and mining said it was clear that the state was “headed for a new wave of large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy development at a scale not seen before”.
More than AUD20 billion ($12.8 billion) of projects have been proposed, including several large, vertically integrated projects. This “demands a single end-to-end framework that can consider the needs of the environment, landowners, communities, and the state’s strategic and economic ambitions”, the department said.
The new hydrogen and renewable energy bill applies to freehold and government-owned land, as well as state waters.
On freehold land, developers will need to secure access through direct agreement with landowners, preserving current arrangements. In other areas ‘release areas’ will be assigned after consultation with government agencies, native title holders and other stakeholders.
A competitive tender process will award feasibility licences, with applicants competing based on transparent selection criteria. Five licence types will be available, relevant to key stages:
• Hydrogen generation licence, which permits construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation of hydrogen generation facilities.
• Associated infrastructure licence, which permits ancillary infrastructure (transmission, roads, water treatment) and associated facilities (hydrogen power plants, ports for hydrogen product export, desalination for hydrogen production).
• Renewable energy feasibility licence/permit, which enables exploration for renewable energy.
• Renewable energy infrastructure licence, which permits construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation of renewable energy infrastructure.
• Renewable energy research licence, which permits construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation of renewable energy infrastructure for the purpose of researching the capabilities of a technology, system or process.
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