New South Wales Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean has launched another linchpin in the state’s plan to systematically transition from coal-fired power generation to renewables-based electricity in a way that provides economic benefits to the state’s regions and consumers.
The “NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap” charts a path to the construction of 12 GW of new large-scale solar and wind capacity, attracting AUD 32 billion (US$23.3 billion) in private investment, creating 6,300 construction jobs and 2,800 ongoing jobs in 2030. It also calls for a reduction in the annual electricity bills of businesses.
Kean’s announcement of the newly formulated roadmap has also coincided with a global shift in support for climate change action, as President-elect Joe Biden outline the US re-engagement with the Paris Agreement and much more on the energy transition front. Perhaps more important than the numbers around the plan is the way in which it integrates known resources with proven technologies.
“This is the biggest, most substantial commitment by any state government to a clean energy transition,” said WWF-Australia Energy Transition Manager Nicky Ison, adding that the plan represents “a major strategic pivot towards making Australia a renewable superpower.”
The state government plan incorporates earlier state announcements of accelerated renewable energy zones, a pumped hydro roadmap, and the co-location of industry with lowest-cost electricity generated by renewables.
It is a whole-of system approach built around five foundational pillars.
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