The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023 is the nation’s first legislative framework designed to provide a coordinated approach to the burgeoning hydrogen and renewable energy industries.
Unprecedented global interest in investing in and developing South Australian hydrogen and renewable energy requires a fresh legislative framework to maximise opportunities and streamline processes.
The new Act helps unlock the state’s pipeline of renewable energy projects, with a current estimated capital development investment of approximately $21 billion – which is expected to grow.
The Act streamlines the process for companies wanting to invest in large-scale hydrogen and renewable energy projects in South Australia, bringing issues such as land access, environmental impacts and native title rights into a single regulatory process.
The Act also introduces the concept of release areas where developers and investors can compete to access some of the world’s best wind and solar resources on government-owned land, ensuring the most appropriate projects are selected that address the social, economic and environmental needs of the region and the state. It also ensures extensive community and landholder consultation is carried out, so that hydrogen and renewable energy projects meet communities’ expectations of responsible development.
The South Australian government will continue to work with stakeholders and rights holders to establish associated regulations for the Act and to identify the release areas for competitive tender.