31 October 2018

$55 million Emerging Energy Program is “paltry”

The NSW Government’s $55 million Emerging Energy Program is a tentative first step towards transitioning the state’s economy to clean energy but it lacks ambition and still lags other states, according to the Nature Conservation Council.

The government today announced the program, which would provide up to $10 million in funding per project for projects that are grid-connected, at least 5 MW, and provide “emerging and dispatchable” technology.

An emissions intensity cap of 0.5 tonnes of Co2-e rules out coal, even so called “low-emissions” coal, which is still highly polluting.

“This is a welcome first step but the package lacks ambition and will not close the gap between NSW and other states that have acted more boldly to ramp up renewables and reduce their climate pollution,” said NCC Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Dr Brad Smith.

“The $10 million being offered under this package is good but pales when compared with Victoria and SA where they invested $25m in the Ballarat 30 MW big battery, unveiled last week, and the Federal and South Australian government’s support of over $110 million for the 150 MW Port Augusta Solar Thermal power station.

“The $55 million being offer under this program is barely 1% of the of the $4.1 billion that was available to the NSW Government from the sale of Snowy Hydro.

“We are calling on the government to re-invest $2 billion, or half of the proceeds, into a regional renewable energy fund that will underpin dispatchable clean energy, create jobs in wind and solar farms, and support households to install batteries.

“The proceeds of the sale of Snowy Hydro was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest massively in clean energy and new technologies, but not a single cent from the Snowy Fund was reinvested in these areas.

“The Snowy Fund spending announced last week represented the biggest clean-energy divestment decision made by any government in Australia ever. Today’s announcement does little to redress that historic failure.”

Dr Smith said the O’Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian governments had all floundered in the energy and climate policy space.

“They have had almost eight years to develop a plan but have almost nothing,” he said.

“They released a draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan almost two years ago and it has still not been finalized.”

The Climate Council reported this month that NSW trailed Tasmania, Victoria South Australia and the ACT on renewables (excluding hydro-electricity). [1]

The Climate Council reported this month that that NSW trailed Tasmania, Victoria South Australia and the ACT in terms of how much of its power came from renewables (excluding hydro-electricity). [1]

State

% power from renewables

ACT

43.1%

South Australia

42.7%

Tasmania

11.2%

Victoria

10.4%

WA

6.5%

NSW

6.0%

Qld

3.7%

NT

3%

 

[1] Powering Progress: States Renewable Energy Race 

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