AHS supports Australia’s renewable energy transition

Australian Heritage Specialists (AHS) remains at the forefront of the renewable energy transition, with a record number of renewable energy projects undertaken previously and more to come in 2023!

Australia is already considered a world leader in the renewable energy race, but one thing many people don’t realise is that large-scale wind, solar, and hydro farms typically require Cultural Heritage Assessments to ensure suitable protection of Australia’s, particularly Indigenous Australia’s, cultural heritage.

AHS are also assisting the Qld Government with the development of Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) Project within the Pioneer Valley near Mackay, working with the Yuwi People.

Rapid renewable expansion

According to the Australian Government, 29% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable sources in 2021, including solar (12%), wind (10%) and hydro (6%), and based on the upward trend 2023 will likely be another record year for renewables.

2021 saw almost 3 GW of new large-scale renewable energy projects completed, according to the Clean Energy Council, with $3.7 billion in financial commitments for new large-scale renewable projects across the year.

The Government has so far invested more than $1.4 billion in renewable generation and storage, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $1.86 billion in grant funding to 686 renewable projects.

Let AHS help

There’s no denying the renewable energy industry is booming, whereby AHS hold well developed skills and frameworks to assist asset owners taking the necessary steps to meet their obligations for cultural heritage and Native title on the land on which they operate.

When proposing new initiatives for renewable energy,  proponents must ensure that their projects and its footprint avoids any adverse effect on cultural heritage. This is where AHS continues to play a major role for its clients.

For example, AHS conduct various assessments and offers strategic advice to ensure that any potential impacts a project may have to cultural heritage are avoided (where possible) and ensure that our clients meet their cultural heritage duty of care under relevant Federal, State, and local legislation requirements.  This takes place generally from the earliest stages of project ‘feasibility’ and generally continues through the design phase and into the construction and post construction phases.

The success of many renewable projects hinges on Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as native title matters – this is where our expert and experienced team can help. Our close working relationships with Traditional Owners and an in-depth knowledge of cultural heritage and Native Title matters, ensures that renewable energy projects remain viable.

One of the key assessments that we undertake as part of large-scale renewable energy projects are Cultural Heritage Assessments and Cultural Heritage Agreements. These assessments, through historical and desktop research and site investigations, develop risk scores for a project and provide policy development, recommendations, and mitigation measures.

In some cases, AHS assist proponents in designing the footprint of the proposed renewable infrastructure to avoid negative impacts to cultural heritage and work to create a positive relationship between the Aboriginal groups and the proponent.

We have been involved in various large-scale renewable projects around Australia and have extensive experience in ensuring renewable energy generation and storage projects adhere to relevant heritage requirements.

AHS have worked extensively with Aboriginal groups and developers. Our relationships with Aboriginal parties ensure that they are being properly represented and provided with the opportunity to protect their cultural heritage.

For more information on AHS and for a free consultation with one of our award-winning consultants, contact us today via our website at ahspecialists.com.au or phone (07) 3221 0000.

Australian Heritage Specialists deliver a range of heritage services including heritage advice and assessments, heritage architecture, archaeology, and Aboriginal heritage.