The renewable energy opportunity
WolfPeak knows Australia has the resources and technical abilities to develop a thriving renewables industry, and the potential to export green energy to the world. Together, we can become a green superpower.
Get in touch to find out how WolfPeak’s renewable energy consultants can help drive your renewable energy project from concept to completion.
The renewable energy challenge
Australia’s energy grid is predominantly powered by coal and gas fired power plants. These fossil fuels are the primary contributor to global warming and their use in power generation must cease or be significantly reduced in order for Australia to meet the target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Further, about 75% of the existing coal fired power plant are operating beyond their design life and maintaining operations is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AMEO) estimates that 14 GW of coal fired generation will retire by 2040, removing an equivalent of one-third of the current total National Electricity Market (NEM) consumption. Energy Co (NSW’s state-owned energy corporation) highlights that it took 30 years to plan and build the existing fleet of coal fired generation plants in NSW. Generation from the retiring plants will need to be replaced within the next 12 years.
In short, the need to rapidly transition to renewable energy has never been greater. But it is straightforward?
Developers of renewable energy must ensure their projects can generate reliable and affordable power, but they need to do so whilst limiting their environmental impact and ensuring that the benefits flow to both energy consumers and local communities.
There are many excellent renewable energy projects in the approvals pipeline. But the sector faces complex planning, assessment and compliance requirements that must be satisfied in order for it to succeed.
Renewable energy companies must appropriately manage environmental risks and the potential impact of their projects, through the development and implementation of robust processes and controls.
The benefits and drawbacks associated with the development and operation of renewable energy projects must be equitably shared.
The renewable energy solution
WolfPeak is proud to be part of the solution. Our team supports our clients to deliver renewable energy projects from concept to completion.
From scoping, environmental costing and assessment, through to delivery; WolfPeak’s renewable energy consultants provide full-service environmental leadership and support, helping our clients’ projects succeed.
Our team are experts in navigating the complex regulatory requirements that apply to renewable energy generation and distribution. We develop and help implement environmental systems, compliance documentation, on-site environmental controls and risk mitigation processes, deliver training, and deliver ongoing monitoring for our clients. Our services reduce regulatory burden whilst providing the best possible outcomes for the environment and local communities.
Renewable energy in practice
WolfPeak’s experienced renewable energy consultants have supported some of the largest infrastructure construction projects in Australia. Our team has been drawn from the public and private sectors. That enables us to build bridges between our clients, government regulators and community stakeholders to create win-win relationships.
WolfPeak developed environmental plans, procedures and protocols for the $4.6-billion Snowy 2.0 project (the largest single renewable energy investment in Australia), and is providing ongoing environmental support through its 10-year construction phase.
WolfPeak provided expert environmental management support on the $540-million Wellington Solar Farm. We helped drive continual improvement and environmental risks minimization during a challenging phase of construction. The Project will power an equivalent of 70,000 homes.
WolfPeak have 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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In 2021, 29% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources. The share of renewables in total electricity generation in 2021 was the highest on record, with the previous peak being 26% in the mid-1960s. The proportion of electricity generation from renewables in Australia has been growing exponentially since 2014.
Renewable energy in Australia comes from large- and small-scale projects. In 2021, the main renewable energy sources were wind (36%), small-scale solar e.g. households (25%), and hydropower (22%). Other sources include large-scale solar and bioenergy.
Government policy and bipartisan support are critical factors in leading Australia’s renewable energy transition. At the end of 2021, 66 large-scale wind and solar projects were under construction or financially committed, representing over 7GW of new capacity and 19,000 jobs.
As with other large infrastructure projects, renewable energy projects are assessed under state and territory planning laws. Each state and territory in Australia have their own specific requirements. This typically includes the need for a planning or development permit from the state or territory government, an environmental impact assessment undertaken for the project and a public exhibition or consultant period. In NSW, for example, approval may be required to go through Council or the energy utility for small scale generation and transmission, or through the Department of Planning as a State significant project for large utilities and transmission.
Renewable energy facilities have less significant environmental effects as compared to fossil fuel energy generation. However, like all types of development, renewable energy projects can present some risks to the environment. This can include land clearing for large-scale solar or transmission lines and changes to wildlife habitats and migratory paths from hydropower systems.
Effective environmental management at all project stages is essential to control potential environmental risks and ensure renewable energy projects have a net positive environmental outcome. The team at WolfPeak have decades of combined experience delivering practical and effective environmental management services for major infrastructure projects.
WolfPeak can provide a range of consulting services to support your renewable energy project including:
- Scoping of environmental costs, risks and constraints
- Environmental impact assessment
- Biodiversity assessment
- Environmental plans, procedures and protocols
- Construction environmental management
- Independent environmental auditing.
From scoping, environmental costing and assessment, through to delivery; WolfPeak’s renewable energy consultants provide full-service environmental leadership and support. Some of our relevant experience includes:
- Providing environmental leadership and delivering construction environmental plans on the Snowy 2.0 projects
- Completing numerous environmental assessments for transmission line projects on behalf of TransGrid
- Providing technical environmental advice on a major geothermal energy project in South Australia
- Providing construction environmental management leadership on a solar energy project in Central West NSW.