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Peter Rae AO, President of WWEAThe World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) is holding its fifth south-of-the-equator conference. The first was in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2003, the second in Melbourne, Australia, in 2005, the third in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, in 2007 and the fourth in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2019. Now it is the turn of Hobart in Tasmania, Australia, on 16 to 18 May 2023. Hobart is known for having passed 100% self-sufficiency in renewable energy several years ago and now has a target of 200% by 2040. This will be the 21st major international conference and exhibition of the WWEA, which has over 600 members from over 100 countries.
By Peter Rae AO, President of WWEA, Australia
Tasmania has substantial and well-established hydro generation capacity, a considerable amount of which was developed by Hydro Tasmania, which has also led the way in the development of wind farms. It has since been joined by a rapidly increasing number of wind farm developers with some very large land, and some offshore, projects in an advanced development stage.
Pumped storage is being further developed as part of the planning for the use of a second major undersea link (called the Marinus Link) to the Victorian market. This will provide jobs, economic activity and revenue to Tasmania and back-up for Victoria’s variable wind and solar. This will complement the large and advanced design batteries being used in parts of Australia.
New generation operations are all part of Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project and include successful new developments such as wave energy and advanced tidal flow. With great interest in hydrogen development, activity in that area is considerable.
The headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division as well as the Australian Maritime College, which administers the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), are also found in Tasmania. Research by the CRC has included offshore wind farm operations, and a major offshore wind farm is in an advanced stage. Of particular interest to some of those whose participation we expect to see in Hobart is the research and development work on a remote area power supply that has been carried out on King and Flinders Islands and is now being implemented in various parts of Australia and the world by Entura, Hydro’s consulting business.
Rooftop solar and small solar farms make up the array of renewable energy and there is a reserve of geothermal and a capacity for biomass sitting on the sideline. With more than 100 years of renewable energy development and a determination to continue to lead in the development and utilisation of renewable energy in all its forms, Tasmania provides an ideal centre for the study, discussion and exhibition of the various forms of renewable energy generation and the necessary back-up for the intermittent and variable forms of that generation. Leading researchers, designers, developers, operators and investors will provide outlines of their experience and operations to the conference participants.
The world has come to understand that no one form of renewables will provide the answer to the whole of the world’s needs for electrical energy. In many of its sessions this conference will concentrate on how renewables can provide the answers if and when the locally available renewable energy forms of generation are brought together to operate when available around the world. From this obvious resolution of perceived problems the WWEA is confident that, as with musical instruments, by working together we can produce the Symphony of the Renewables, which is the title of this conference.
These subjects and a variety of associated research and practical experience topics will, I believe, excite those who take this opportunity to visit this renewable energy powerhouse set in some of the most attractive scenery in the world. It is a great place for investors to join those who have already taken that opportunity to invest. Post-conference tours will be available to view and learn more about the various aspects of the total renewable energy package, particularly some of the recent developments in bird protection, where a wind farm site requires it.
The WWEA Board, our local organising committee and I look forward to welcoming you to Hobart and to the Symphony of the Renewables.
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