WolfPeak is helping renewable energy companies lead Australia’s transition to green power.
Australia depends on coal. It currently accounts for around 75 percent of our electricity generation. Australia is also the world’s largest exporter of coal, and controls around 6 percent of the world’s total coal resources.
Put those numbers in the context of the global fight against climate change, and it sounds like pretty bad news. However, our standing as a major player in the global energy market actually puts us in a powerful position to help lead the transition to renewable energy.
“Australia has the technology and natural resources to develop a thriving renewables industry, and the potential to export green energy to the world,” says Derek Low, General Manager at WolfPeak.
That ambition is not only critical to help achieve Australia’s goal to reduce greenhouse emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It’s also vital to protecting our energy security and economy as the world moves away from coal power.
“As the world moves to renewables, Australia’s coal and gas export markets are at risk. We need alternative revenue streams that protect our economy and energy security,” explains Derek. “At the same time, many of our ageing coal-fired power plants will be coming offline over the next 15 years. That means traditional (fossil fuel) power generation will continue to get more expensive and less reliable.”
Negotiating the approvals pipeline
However, making the switch to renewable energy requires more than simply throwing money at solar, wind and hydro electricity projects. Derek says that renewable energy companies must ensure their projects can generate affordable energy while limiting their environmental impact.
“There are many excellent renewable energy projects in the approvals pipeline,” he says. “But the renewable energy sector is subject to complex planning, assessment and compliance requirements, and high community expectations.”
“Understanding and managing the obligations, risks, and potential impacts of projects is paramount in achieving compliance and maintaining social licence.”
Best for project
WolfPeak provides best practice solutions for renewable energy projects.
“Project teams value our services as we apply a robust, problem-solving approach to our work. We view clients as partners and take pride in working closely, in a way that works for them, to ensure projects are successful.”
“Our decades of experience and close working relationships with regulators and delivery agencies (such as the Department of Planning and Environment, EPA, Transport for NSW, and TransGrid) has meant that these stakeholders know that we’re reliable and capable, and they value our perspective. We are often able to bridge the gap between project delivery teams and the regulatory agencies, fostering the project through to completion without unnecessary regulatory burden” says Derek. “Our team also has connections within the rural communities where many of these projects are based, so we understand both the needs of the community and the project, and can help bridge these needs to help realise the best possible outcomes for all.”
Powering renewable energy
WolfPeak provides full-service environmental leadership and consultation, and assists renewable energy companies throughout the project lifecycle – from tender to post-approval procedures and ongoing environmental management.
And the company’s expertise has been tried and tested in the field. WolfPeak developed environmental plans, procedures and protocols for the $4.6-billion Snowy 2.0 project, and provided expert environmental management to assist with the delivery of the $540-million Wellington Solar Farm.
WolfPeak has also prepared scores of environmental assessments for transmission line works across TransGrid’s distribution network. The assessments have formed an integral part of the approval process to allow renewable generators, such as the Coppabella, Bango and Capital wind farms, to safely connect to the grid and provide green power to consumers.
“Of course, renewable energy projects need to ensure on-site risks and compliance requirements are managed. This is a no-brainer,” Derek concludes. “But it’s also important that the benefits (jobs, clean and affordable power) are shared equitably across investors and developers, consumers, and the communities in which they are situated. If we can ensure that each of these stakeholders benefit, then the planet will too.”