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.