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Editorial – Renewables finally come into vogue

Hans Lovejoy, editor 

Something doesn’t feel quite right. It appears the NSW Liberal Nationals are moving towards a cleaner future, one that recognises climate change and isn’t coal-fired.

It’s odd, because the Minerals Council lobby group hold a massive influence over those politicians and their policies.

Minerals Council staff interchange with the staff of Coalition politicians. The Minerals Council even have a yearly Christmas shindig to thank all those politicians for keeping them in a job.

But it looks like things might change. The NSW government have unveiled an Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, available at Energy NSW.

And those who keep a critical eye on carbon polluters seem to be in favour.

The Nature Conservation Council (NCC) welcomed it, describing the framework as a ‘crucial step towards making NSW a low-carbon economy’.

NCC chief executive Chris Gambian said it represents ‘serious action on climate change in a way that will also create jobs and bring down power prices’. He said, ‘The plan will see about 60 new solar and wind farms start generating across the state, more than quadrupling clean energy generation’.

‘While the Morrison government is absent on climate action, thank goodness their Coalition colleagues in NSW are willing to step up to the challenge of cutting climate pollution while growing the economy’.

Meanwhile, Michael Mazengarb from www.reneweconomy.com.au reports that ‘Australian Conservation Foundation climate change Program Manager Gavan McFadzean said that a crucial aspect of the plan was that it had secured bipartisan support across the NSW parliament, with the Liberal, National and Labor parties all backing the plan’.

Part of the plan is to create ‘Renewable Energy Zones’, which ‘are the modern-day equivalent of traditional power stations’.

A 3GW zone in the Central-West Orana region is planned, as well as an 8GW zone in the New England region. 

Additionally, there’s plans for ‘firming’, which refers to ‘generation that can deliver electricity to the market on demand’.

‘Firming can be provided by a range of technologies, including batteries, gas generators and demand response. In the future, fast firming may also be able to be provided by hydrogen generators’.

Upon reading the roadmap, it appears the NSW Liberal Nationals have finally discovered out what the rest of the world has been doing for years – moving to renewables.

It reads, ‘With some of the best natural energy resources in the world, NSW is in a unique position to benefit from emerging low cost technologies like wind, solar, batteries and pumped hydro’.

According to the roadmap, ‘Four of the five NSW coal power stations, accounting for three quarters of NSW’s electricity supply, are expected to close in the next 15 years’.

‘We will be putting the state on the path to becoming one of the lowest cost, lowest carbon regions in the world’.

Hallelujah to that. The state’s reliance on ageing coal fired power stations should have been addressed a long time ago.

When the likes of Tony Abbott leave politics, it’s clear good things can happen.

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


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6 responses to “Editorial – Renewables finally come into vogue”

  1. Joachim says:

    The NSW Government have been forced into making this move despite the push back from their ‘friends’ at The Minerals Council and the Fossil Fuel lobby at large. NSW has an ageing fleet of coal fired power stations whose power generation will need to be replaced – Liddell is slated to close in 2024 and then post 2030 the rest Bayswater, Eraring, Mt Piper, Vales Point , There will not be any new coal power stations built in Australia. Renewable energy is the here and now and hence NSW going with these Renewable Energy Zones.

  2. Barrow says:

    We will be putting the state on a path of darkness
    If power stations close down ..
    You know this !!

    • Vince kean says:

      Trumpism is here! Barrow your attempt to frighten Australia is bound to fail. The power stations are on the way out. They are old technology dirty and expensive. Even their owners want to be shot of them. They are not listening to your Trumpist laments, they have their eye firmly fixed on the future. Your position is being consigned to the rubbish bins of history by the very people you think you are protecting. Sad but true. Like your patron saint all that you can is run interference. Save us the unpleasantness and embrace the future.

      • Barrow says:

        Well Vince for your information ! Cant stand trump.
        However 50 % of voters did vote for trump including black Americans in record numbers..
        and how dare Barrow have a alternative view.
        Intolerable.. that’s the problem with people like you and the left , pretending they love freedom of speech only when not challenged or put to the test.
        Then they resort to shut them down …
        Hypocrites! and incidentally Vince its a funny thing
        Because you are probably sucking the life out
        Of base Load power . Drive electric car Vince ?
        Use a phone ? Everything in your house is connected to coal Stupid !! “Do as i say not as i do
        Virtue signaling while either holding your phone
        Of computer made from what Vince ? All renewables Vince constructed from what Vince ?
        I embrace reality. And as your patron Saint Albo
        Says one thing one day and another the next
        Depending which state and location he is in .
        So he was in the Hunter valley and suggested
        That coal will be with us for decades.. !

  3. Joachim says:

    Barrow, my man, “…putting the state on a path to darkness…”, you didn’t explain anything about the coming “darkness”.

  4. I still feel somewhat ‘suspicious’ of the Road Map. Too easy for this bunch.
    Yes – All the checking has been done, Joachim – but leopards don’t change
    spots. The eye of the sparrow’s watching.

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