6 September 2017

Turnbull’s coal obsession is the dirtiest, most unreliable approach to NSW’s energy problems

Extending the life of the highly polluting Liddell Power station is the wrong way to meet projected shortfalls in electricity supply, according to the NSW Nature Conservation Council.

“The best way to meet NSW’s future energy needs is to ramp up renewables,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“We agree with AGL’s assessment that NSW will need 3 GW of new wind and solar farms backed up by at least 500 MW of dispatchable power to replace Liddell and put downward pressure on prices.

“Modelling by the Energy Market Operator released yesterday shows renewable energy will significantly improve reliability in NSW once Liddell closes in 2022. [See figure below]

“Investment in on-demand clean energy sources like pumped-hydro, batteries and solar thermal would improve reliability even further.

“Coal-burning power stations like Liddell are part of the problem, they are not part of the solution.

"Doubling down on coal-burning power stations is bad for the climate, bad for public health, and undermines investment in the renewables that we need.

"During the heatwave on February 10, 50% of Liddell’s capacity was offline because of boiler-tube leaks.

"You wouldn’t rely on a 50-year-old car in a heatwave, and NSW can’t rely on this old clunker to secure our energy needs.

“We have five years to plan for the retirement of Liddell, which is ample time to bring on the clean energy sources we need.

“It was time the NSW and Federal governments developed a plan to ensure the clean energy infrastructure we need is built on time.

“Renewable energy companies are ready to get out there and build across NSW.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull developing policy on the run like this creates even more uncertainty and has a chilling effect on renewables investment.

“Since the Federal Government is suffering policy paralysis, we’re calling on the NSW Government to develop a plan for NSW’s energy future.”




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