Close up of wind turbine in front of horizon

We developed an evidence base and strategy to inform Victoria’s offshore wind program

Our Work | Case Study

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The Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is responsible for supporting thriving, productive and sustainable communities, environments and industries.

Government sought modelling, analysis and planning

The Victorian Government was exploring the potential for an offshore wind energy industry.

To develop the strategy, the Victorian Government appointed us as a lead advisor. In this role we undertook engineering technical studies (in partnership with consultancy GHD), energy market modelling and implementation planning.

We analysed conditions under a variety of scenarios

We led a large consortium in the technical, modelling and strategy development phases of the project. We worked with the government to understand policies for enabling net zero emissions by 2050 – the state’s target at the time – and plans for grid development, ports and other enabling infrastructure.

Using our analysis and forecasting expertise, we quantified what a net zero 2050 economy would mean for energy demand. This involved working through the decarbonisation of gas, transport, shipping, aviation and industry. We tested our analysis with Princeton University (which had led the Net Zero America Project) to validate our assumptions about energy conversions and future uses of hydrogen.

On the supply side, we assessed the drivers and constraints for offshore wind development, including market-based factors and technology-specific factors (such as extent of available resource, timing and build-rate, and labour requirements).

In developing the implementation strategy, we worked through each implementation step, including governance arrangements; legislation; regulation; stakeholder engagement; procurement; investments in transmission and ports; and the design of a potential support package.

The strategy and analysis are informing a policy decision

In March 2022, the Victorian Government released a Policy Directions Paper that set out its offshore wind targets and its plan for the development of the sector. Victoria’s plan includes procuring an initial offshore wind tranche of at least 2 GW, with targets of 4 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 and 9 GW by 2040.

Our sector strategy and supporting analysis have supported the state as it sets out to host the first offshore wind farms in Australia.

What you can learn from this project

The scale and complexity of energy demand under a net zero economy will require careful planning across the sector to ensure decarbonisation targets can be met.

A predictable and flexible pipeline of projects is important to maximise supply chain investments, create local jobs, and reduce costs.

Enabling infrastructure is critical to the success of establishing an offshore wind sector, which will require whole-of-sector solutions for electricity transmission and ports.