5th December 2017

Australia plans to export green energy

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Australia will export green energy to Indonesia under plans to develop a six gigawatt solar and wind hybrid project.

A global consortium of energy companies has presented its plans to contribute significantly to Indonesia’s clean energy future by using subsea cables to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.

The project – if it gets the go-ahead- will be called Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH). It is another mega energy project and the hybrid power plant would spread across 14,000 square km in flat desert land on the north-west coast of Australia.

It is understood the global energy company Vestas would supply approximately 1,200 wind turbines and 10 million solar panels which would provide enough electricity to power more than 7 million households.

4,000 megawatts (MW) will be supplied by a mix of green energy, including wind and 2,000MW from solar.

The project location was chosen due to its particular geography and topography, allowing optimal performance for both wind and solar technology.

Alexander Hewitt, managing Director of CWP Energy Asia said: “Wind and solar and other green energy, working together have enormous potential to supply reliable and competitively priced renewable energy across regions.

“Given the increasing ability to move energy over long distances, the Asia Renewable Energy Hub is a compelling proposition for Indonesia – not only for supplying the energy, but for the economic benefits that come with establishing manufacturing facilities in Indonesia”.

The renewable electricity produced will be transferred using innovative technology. It will be exported through high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology which allows for the efficient transmission of power over long distances with the subsea cables being attached to maritime ships.

The project’s proximity to Indonesia in addition to advanced subsea cable technologies are expected to allow for cost-efficient transmission of such amounts of electricity.

Confirmed partners include Vestas, US-based InterContinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia, Italian Prysmian Group, specialising in electric power transmission and telecommunications cables, and Singapore-based Swire Pacific Offshore.

Project development started in 2014 and it is now looking for investors.

The first phase of development is expected to cost $10 billion and if everything goes well, construction will start in 2023 with completion by 2029.

Apart from the financial advantages that the project offers to Western Australia it will play a pivotal role in Indonesia’s economic development too, as the wind and solar generating equipment would be manufactured in Indonesia.

It is expected that the wind and solar generating equipment will be manufactured in Indonesia, creating a new source of skilled, high-tech jobs and the development of a local supply chain.

Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific said: “As green energy becomes cost-competitive with fossil fuels, it becomes more and more attractive both as a source of electricity and as a source of jobs and investment”.