NSW boosts renewable energy supplies with Energy Action Plan

NSW increases renewable energy but lags behind other states and national target

NSW is well on the way to completing all actions in the Renewable Energy Action Plan, the Government’s plan that is increasing energy supply through renewables. The plan shows NSW is securing jobs and investment in our regions, more than doubling the share of renewable energy sources over the past six years.

Releasing the annual report of the plan, Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said 17 of the recommended 24 actions are now complete, five more than last year.

“We’re making great progress on the Renewable Energy Action Plan, which positions NSW to increase energy from renewables at the least cost to customers while also helping to boost our energy security,” Mr Harwin said.

Mr Harwin said renewables played an important role during February’s heatwave.

“At the time of peak demand renewables provided 27 per cent of NSW’s generation. We needed recent investment in renewables to meet this peak,” Mr Harwin said.

“We’ve cemented our national leadership in large-scale solar with farms online at Nyngan, Broken Hill and Moree. Moree is Australia’s second largest solar farm and first with technology to track the sun, which can power 15,000 NSW homes.”

Another five solar farms are expected to be built across regional NSW following funding commitments from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Late last year the Government consulted on additional measures to save consumers money through energy efficiency, and boost investment to secure energy supplies.

NSW Renewable Energy Advocate Amy Kean said the plan supports our aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“We’ll do this by diversifying our energy mix, empowering energy consumers and giving the private sector more confidence to invest in renewables and storage technology to achieve an orderly transition,” Ms Kean said.

“We’re seeing the community welcome new jobs in places like Glen Innes, which is experiencing the benefits of investment in renewables in regional NSW”.

NSW increases renewable energy but lags behind national target

The Renewable Energy Action Plan annual report 2016 shows that NSW drew 14 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, 7 per cent from gas and 79 per cent from coal in 2015.

This compared to 10.8 per cent of energy sourced from renewables and 82.3 per cent from coal in 2014, and 12.9 per cent from renewables and 79.5 per cent from coal in 2013.

NSW is committed to matching the federal target of 20 per cent of energy sourced from renewables by 2020.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said NSW was increasing its energy supply through renewables and had doubled its share of renewable sources over the last six years.

“My top priority as Energy Minister is to ensure that we maintain a secure energy supply for the people of NSW, in their homes and workplaces,” Mr Harwin said.

NSW was the worst performing state and South Australia was the best at sourcing energy from renewable sources according to a 2016 Climate Council report, which did not include the Snowy Hydro scheme in its figures.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International