New South Wales aims to triple clean energy use

18 September 2012

MELBOURNE: The state Government of New South Wales has released a draft of its Renewable Energy Action Plan. The state reaffirms its aim of meeting Australia’s 20% renewable energy by 2020 target with a plan to triple its use of clean energy.

The Plan contains 28 key actions that will help the state reach its target. It reiterates how strong clean energy policy is crucial in supporting employment, boosting the state’s economy and gaining voters looking for cheaper energy. 

Clean energy means new jobs

Chris Hartcher, Energy Minister, Government of New South Wales, has stated that 6,000 new jobs could be created by clean energy investments, citing the 160 megawatt First Solar and AGL Energy solar plant as an example of projects which boost employment. He also told reporters in Sydney that the surge of clean energy would not come at an extra cost to consumers.

The energy efficiency Plan outlines how the state could save 16,000 gigawatt hours of electricity by 2020, as well as AUS$2.8 billion in energy costs. 

Currently around 6% of the state’s total electricity usage comes from clean energy. 88% of this comes from hydro power, 5% from both biomass and landfill methane, and 1% from both wind and solar. 

More wind and solar

As well as upping hydro power, the new Plan looks to increase wind energy too. 2,000 megawatts of proposals are in the pipeline, with an extra 6,700 megawatts under consideration.

The solar market is also under review, as the low carbon energy is becoming easier and more cost-effective for both commercial and industrial sectors to install.

David Perry, Research and Program Manager, The Climate Group, analyzed the Plan and underlined a key highlight. He said: “The New South Wales plan is commendable in recognizing some of the crucial barriers that hinder the deployment of renewable energy, including grid connection, social license, and the building of local expertise.”

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