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NSW's superpower plan to turbocharge renewable energy investment

In Australia, the Government of New South Wales (NSW) has released its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap for the state which is expected to generate more than 9 000 jobs and attract AU$32 billion of private investment into the region by 2030. The roadmap lays out the government’s 20-year plan to deliver Renewable Energy Zones, energy storage such as pumped hydro, and on-demand supply like gas and batteries, needed to reduce emissions and provide cheap, reliable electricity across the state.

In Australia, the Government of New South Wales (NSW) has released its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap for the state which is expected to generate more than 9 000 jobs and attract AU$32 billion of private investment into the region by 2030.

The NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is a coordinated framework to deliver a modern electricity system for NSW as an estimated 75 percent of NSW’s coal-based power generation is expected to reach the end of its technical life within 15 years.

Released on November 9, 2020, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the roadmap will deliver Australia’s first Renewable Energy Zones in the Central West and New England regions by 2030.

The stimulus the Renewable Energy Zones will provide to regional communities will unlock over 9000 new jobs and will be a huge boost to farmers and land owners, with AU$1.5 billion in lease payments expected to go to landholders hosting new infrastructure by 2042. The roadmap will make sure that renewables are developed where regional communities want them and where they are compatible with farming, John Barilaro said.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the roadmap will grow the economy, create jobs and deliver an expected AU$32 billion of private sector investment in electricity infrastructure by the end of the next decade.

Coming out of this crisis, not only are we stimulating the economy to create jobs now, we are looking toward the reforms NSW needs to secure our future. This is a big productivity plus. The roadmap will help boost our energy security and deliver to NSW some of the cheapest prices in the OECD, cutting power bills for families, said Dominic Perrottet.

Deliver 12 GW of renewable power by 2030

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the roadmap will support the private sector to bring 12 GW of renewable energy and 2 GW of storage, such as pumped hydro, online by 2030.

Our priority is to keep the lights on and get power prices down, with the roadmap forecast to save NSW households an average of AU$130 and small businesses an average of AU$430 on their electricity bills each year. NSW has some of the best natural resources in the world and this roadmap is about acting now to leverage our competitive advantage and to position NSW as an energy superpower, Matt Kean said.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the roadmap includes AU$50 million in grants to support the delivery of pumped hydro projects.

Pumped hydro is a proven form of large-scale storage and NSW has some fantastic pumped hydro opportunities. This plan delivers the long term certainty needed for the private sector to invest now and drive jobs and investment in the regions, Melinda Pavey said.

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the roadmap cements the region as the renewable hub of the future.

Our community is thrilled to have the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone right here in the Central West unlocking opportunities for jobs and investment that will be the foundation for our future prosperity, said Dugald Saunders said.

The roadmap sets out a plan to modernise the state’s electricity infrastructure by:

  • cutting red-tape and speeding up approvals for transmission infrastructure in Renewable Energy Zones, while protecting the interests of consumers;
  • creating a long term investment signal for new generation in Renewable Energy Zones, long-duration storage such as pumped hydro, and on demand-supply, like gas and batteries;
  • making sure that renewable projects proceed where local communities want them and in ways that are consistent with farming.

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