Australia’s government has rejected plans for the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), an A$36bn ($26.9bn) wind, solar and hydrogen project.
The project, located in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, was scrapped on the grounds that it could threaten migratory species and internationally recognised wetlands.
In a decision dated 15 June published on the Environment Department’s website, Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that the AREH project would have “clearly unacceptable impacts”.
A spokesperson for Ms Ley said: “The minister found the marine component of the infrastructure corridor would disrupt tidal movements and processes.
“This would seriously impact the habitats and life cycle of the native species dependent upon the wetland and, accordingly, the ecological character of the 80-mile Beach Ramsar site itself.”
The AREH project was initially proposed to have 15GW of renewable energy capacity, with this eventually increasing to 26GW. It would have produced green hydrogen and ammonia for export.
Last October, the government granted ‘major project status’ to the project.
During the construction phase, the project was expected to create more than 20,000 direct and indirect and 3,000 jobs when fully operating.
In a separate development in the renewable energy space, Switzerland has proposed a binding rule to enhance energy production from renewable sources such as hydro, as well as limiting energy consumption between 2035 and 2050.
The Swiss government aims to generate 2TW of climate-neutral electricity production by 2040, financed by a winter surcharge.
According to the government’s Energy Strategy 2050, the country intends to produce more energy from renewable sources as it phases out nuclear energy.
Japan is also reportedly planning to toughen rules for exports from new coal power plants, in line with a pact signed by the Group of Seven (G7) nations.
The G7 pact calls for ending government backing for ‘unabated coal power’ by the end of this year, as well as scaling up technologies and policies to fast-track the transition from coal power plants.