NSW Govt launches plan to scale back coal

coal

The New South Wales Government has launched the NSW Emerging Energy Program, which aims to dramatically scale back coal and transition to renewables by 2040.

With New South Wales’ ageing coal power stations scheduled for retirement, the plan stipulates a need for a more diverse generation mix.

“The NSW energy system is in transition,” it reads. “Our generation mix is changing, with more variable generation entering the system and older power stations scheduled for retirement.

“Our system has a current peak demand of around 15,000 megawatts. In September 2018 there were almost 17,000 megawatts of new gas, renewable energy and generator upgrades worth $21 billion either with, or seeking, NSW planning approval.

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“It is expected that new dispatchable, emerging energy resources will be needed in the system over the next two decades to support this transition.”

The key objectives of the program are to:

  • enhance system reliability and system security in NSW
  • promote competition in the National Electricity Market to place downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices
  • promote diversification of electricity supply through the development of new dispatchable, emerging technologies at utility scale
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In its June 2018 Integrated System Plan the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said energy security is projected to be supported by new flexible, dispatchable resources at utility scale.

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The government’s priority is to co-fund projects with the private sector that will be developed in the near term, with any grant funding provided being the minimum required for a project to proceed.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment expects to open registrations to apply for funding for expressions of interest in the first quarter of 2019.

Read the full Emerging Energy Program here.