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Australian Greens launch NSW Renewable Energy Zones

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Adam Bandt MP
Federal Member for Melbourne
2 February 2019

Australian Greens launch NSW Renewable Energy Zones

Australian Greens co-deputy leader Adam Bandt MP and NSW Australian Greens Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi today announced that The Australian Greens’ plan for the creation of 8 renewable energy zones in NSW, which have the potential to unlock over 40GW of renewable energy. 

On Wednesday, as the state was sweltering through a heatwave, generators at both Liddell and Eraring Power Stations were broken, pulling 1300 MW of electricity out of NSW’s grid. Instead of breaking down during a heatwave renewables like solar thrive. The need to create Renewable Energy Zones that would rapidly replace aging coal-fired infrastructure is becoming more and more urgent as climate change gets worse.

The Berejiklian government has made some progress with Renewable Energy Zones, but is no friend of renewables: NSW is one of the only states or territories without a renewable energy target. The Australian Greens are the only party with a plan to supercharge investment in renewables.

We’re facing a climate emergency, but with the right leadership we can switch from coal to renewable energy, delivering jobs in New South Wales and cutting pollution. The Australian Greens will start treating electricity like an essential service again, with government stepping in to deliver an energy grid for the twentieth century. Our grid currently is largely a series of wires going out to coal mines, but the Australian Greens will get government building transmission lines out to where the sun shines and the wind blows.

The Australian Greens plan will:

  • Establish Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) across Australia, including 8 Renewable Energy Zones in New South Wales.
  • Establish a $2.8 Billion Commonwealth Grid Transformation Fund to support the augmentation of transmission infrastructure required to connect new zones to the electricity grid.
  • Build and/or augment transmission lines out to North West New South Wales, Northern New South Wales Tablelands, Central New South Wales Tablelands, Central West New South Wales, Southern New South Wales Tablelands, Broken Hill, Murray River and New England.
  • Build ‘Riverlink’, a new interconnector with South Australia, allowing NSW to tap South Australia’s high level of renewable energy and provide a more stable, secure grid.
  • Build a new interconnector with Queensland to tap the REZs in the Tablelands
  • Strengthen the existing interconnector with Queensland to bring more renewables online and provide a more stable grid.

This will unlock over 40 GW - about 25 coal-fired power stations worth - of renewable energy potential.

Quotes attributable to Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Senator for NSW

“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of electricity. With the right policy, New South Wales can become a renewable energy superpower. The NSW Government needs to rapidly transition away from dirty coal towards renewable energy. 

“Renewable Energy Zones can unlock our state’s potential, creating clean energy and jobs.”

“Our grid is still largely a set of wires out to coal mines. Government now needs to build the grid out to where the sun shines and the wind blows.”

“The NSW Government has a shocking history of privatisation. The grid should be built and run for the public good, not for profit.”

Quotes attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and spokesperson for climate change and energy:

“The Australian Greens’ approach is focused on the public interest, so the network operator advises on how to build a grid to get us to 100% renewables, the government assesses the proposal with a view to supporting coal-fired power station areas through the transition, and we then build the grid for the lowest possible cost as a public good, enabling new public and private renewables generation to come online.”

“I am worried that the potential of REZs and AEMO’s ‘Integrated System Plan’ will be squandered unless governments grab the issue by the scruff of the neck and starts building the network in the public interest.”

“And up until this point, the only policies that have been in place to encourage Renewable Energy Zones haven’t worked.”

“We need to rewrite the rules and move away from this crazy applicant-driven process.”

“The Australian Greens are the only Federal party with a policy to construct and deliver renewable energy zones across the country, which will deliver a surge in new renewable energy construction.”


Contact: 
Bandt, Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054
Faruqi, Matt Hilton, 0474 437 111
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Adam Bandt MP
Federal Member for Melbourne
2 February 2019
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