The Climate Council is urging the NSW Government to increase efforts to ramp up renewable energy and storage so New South Wales can power past the closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the slated 2025 closure of Eraring can and must be upheld for the state to stay on track to meet its emissions reduction targets and unlock a new era of affordable, reliable zero emissions energy.
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“Now is the time for Premier Minns to accelerate the move towards affordable, clean energy sources like wind, solar, batteries and pumped hydro,” McKenzie said.
“The renewable energy boom is our best shot at tackling the climate crisis. With the right policies, NSW can create thousands of new clean energy jobs, drive down power bills and continue to deliver reliable electricity supply for homes and businesses.”
The Climate Council has outlined three key steps the NSW Government could take immediately to ensure energy reliability and lower costs as coal-fired power stations continue to close.
“First, we need the Government to task the energy market operator with urgently bringing on more renewables and storage. It can do so by fast tracking tenders for new capacity, releasing a new tender for the 191MW needed to fill the reliability gap caused by the exit of Eraring, and expanding NSW projects underwritten by the federal Capacity Investment Scheme,” McKenzie said.
“The government should also hurry up and approve the 2.3GW of wind and solar projects that are waiting for approval to connect to the existing transmission network. The government can actively engage with developers to get these projects underway.
“Further, the NSW Government should help large energy users like households, businesses and industry use energy in smarter and more efficient ways. This includes a large energy efficiency package for social and public housing, incentives for commercial batteries and demand response, and support for industrial load shifting.
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“The renewable energy transformation is underway, but it needs leadership from the NSW Government. With the right policies now, Eraring’s closure can be managed smoothly while securing more affordable and reliable clean power.”
The call has been backed by other advocacy groups and organisations, including Climate Solutions, Parents for Climate Action, BZE, Farmers for Climate Action, Surfers for Climate, and Bushfire Survivors.
Energy Source & Distribution has reached out to NSW Energy Minister Penny Sharpe for comment.