21 September 2017

Pumped-Hydro spells end of coal burning electricity generation in NSW 

Today’s pumped-hydro atlas identifying 8,600 suitable sites in NSW shows new coal-burning power stations are not needed to meet our energy needs, according to the Nature Conservation Council.

“This Australian National University study released today shows that NSW can source all our power from clean sources, at any time of day, 200 times over,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“This spells the end of burning coal for power. All that remains is the political will to shift us to this clean, renewable energy.”

ANU identified 29,000 GWh of storage capacity in NSW and the ACT, while only 450 GWh is needed to replace all coal and gas fired power stations in Australia.

“Why would we continue burning coal, polluting communities and ripping up farms for open-cut coal mines, when we there are thousands of sites in NSW that can provide clean energy on-demand?” she said.

“The ANU research estimates the cost of renewable energy backed up by pumped-hydro at 7.5c/kWh, which is lower than current wholesale prices in NSW, without even taking into account the benefits of pollution-reduction.

“Hydroelectric turbines can switch from off to full power in one minute, while coal-burning generators take all day to get up to speed.

“In today’s modern grid, flexible and dispatchable power is what we need, and 8,600 sites have now been identified in NSW to provide that power with zero pollution.

“Spending $900 million on propping up Liddell coal-burning power station for five more years would be a complete waste.

“We’re calling on the NSW Government to fast-track development of a few pumped-hydro sites to balance the grid when Liddell closes in 2022.”

REFERENCES

ANU press release: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hgkf8l26lbtjp2v/Press%20release%2020%20SEPTEMBER%20-%20HYDRO%20MR.docx?dl=0

ANU atlas of pumped hydro energy storage: http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/research/phes/

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Coal and gas

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