Sydney and Melbourne going green despite uncertainty over future of Renewable Energy Target
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-26/sydney-and-melbourne-going-green-despite-ret-uncertainty/5625976 By Lisa Tucker Australia’s biggest cities are setting ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions despite signs the Federal Government will wind back the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
The review into the country’s RET is expected to make its recommendations next week.
But when it comes to going green, Melbourne and Sydney are on the same page and are determined to make it happen, whatever direction Canberra takes.
The cities are rolling out solar panels, installing LED light systems and designing energy efficient buildings.
Sydney plans to reduce its emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 while Melbourne aims to have zero net emissions in just five-and-a-half years.
City of Melbourne Councillor, Arron Wood, says environmental action is at the forefront of everything the council is doing.
“We’re certainly making big inroads, but to reach that goal by 2020, there’s some pretty big numbers,” he said.
“[But] I am absolutely vehemently opposed to any relaxing of the renewable energy target. It’s done wonderful things in terms of renewable energy investment.
“Interestingly enough we talk about the cost that renewable energy targets add to people’s bills, but when you look at the wholesale cost, it’s one of the only measures which is actually putting pressure on wholesale electricity prices.”
Renewable energy key factor in reducing emissions.
Sydney’s goal is to produce 70 per cent of its electricity needs from tri-generation, a more environmentally friendly, low-carbon production method with solar and wind power making up the rest.
Melbourne is aiming for a renewable energy contribution of 50 per cent.
“Really, you do have to have a large proportion of your energy mix coming from renewable to have a hope of reaching that target,” Cr Wood said.
“Even the Urban Forest Strategy, which is about cooling our city: we’ve got a target of doubling the canopy cover in the city by 2040.
“That’s really about decreasing ambient temperatures and meeting the urban heat effect. But what it does is, it also makes the city look good.”
Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore says any change to the target will make Sydney’s goal more difficult to achieve.
“It’s much better if the national Government is also committed to taking action on climate change,” Ms Moore said.
“We already know with the winding back of the carbon pricing that it’s making it harder to achieve our tri-generation precincts in Sydney. So that would have an effect.”
Ms Moore says the steps being taken have the community’s full support.
“We are the most urbanised country in the world and we know that our cities are where 70 per cent of emissions occur,” she said.
“I think it’s really incumbent upon city leaders to commit to taking this action and follow through on it.”
Fears for safety at Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: permanent supervisors to be dumped as part of cost-cutting GEOFF CHAMBERS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JULY 25, 2014 PERMANENT frontline safety supervisors will be dumped and Australian Federal Police roles overhauled as part of cost-cutting measures at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.
Workers at the facility in Sydney’s south have expressed concern about the removal of permanent safety inspectors.
The AFP will retain an armed presence but it is expected that light duties, including boom gate operation and CCTV monitoring, will be outsourced.
With 260 production, laboratory and technical staff on its books, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has firmly opposed what it describes as a “cost-cutting exercise” by ANSTO.
The union’s state secretary, Tim Ayres, said that the reactor site was an important local employer and crucial for the innovation and manufacturing industry.
“This is in no way an improvement to safety at Sydney’s only nuclear facility, this is a decision to wind back the safety protections purely on the basis of costs,” he said.
Mr Ayres said having permanent safety inspectors on staff should be a priority for management.
The inspectors, many with years of experience, are the first point of contact at Lucas Heights during an emergency situation.
- “This sends a message that safety is a second-order issue. It will set the safety culture back,” he said………
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding Lord Howe Island’s hybrid renewable energy project
Lord Howe Island’s Clean, Renewable Energy Future http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4411 25 July 14 The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is helping to fund a hybrid renewable energy project on Lord Howe Island that will include energy storage.
ARENA will contribute $4.5 million in support for the 1 MW, $11.6 million wind, solar, storage and diesel hybrid system that will reduce the Island’s consumption of diesel by 70%.
“Lord Howe Island is 600 km off the east coast of Australia and, like other remote off-grid communities across the country, is heavily reliant on diesel generators that are costly to run and subject to volatile fuel prices,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknech.
“It is another significant project to come out of ARENA’s Regional Australia’s Renewables Initiative, which is focused on increasing the uptake of renewables in offgrid Australia.”
It’s been a long road to reach this point according to Lord Howe Island Board CEO Penny Holloway; who said said the community had been working towards a renewable energy future for more than ten years and ARENA’s support means it can now become a reality.
The Lord Howe Island Group is part of the state of New South Wales; administered by the Lord Howe Island Board.
NSW Environment and Heritage Minister Rob Stokes congratulated ARENA and the Lord Howe Island Board for their vision and commitment.
“Lord Howe Island was included on the World Heritage List because of its unique natural and heritage values and this initiative is a powerful way of protecting these into the future,” he said.
In other recent news from ARENA, the body announced it is also providing $500,000 to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to support the execution of the first stage of a project to future-proof Australia’s energy system and improve the electricity grid to support the growth of clean energy.
The CEC will be working with industry, government, regulators and consumers and commissioning various related analyses; with the first stage of the future proofing project due to be completed by the middle of next year.
Renewable energy: NSW to be ‘Australia’s answer to California’, SMH, July 22, 2014 Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald New South Wales aims to be “Australia’s answer to California”, accelerating the use of renewable energy and finding new ways to curb waste, in a push that puts it at odds with Coalition counterparts in other states and at the federal level.
The Baird government says it plans to adorn as many of its buildings with solar panels as possible and ease the way for more wind farms.
The announcement comes days after the Abbott government secured its almost five-year quest to axe the carbon price and amid ongoing signs it will weaken the national renewable energy target (RET), “We are making NSW number one in energy and environmental policy,” Environment Minister Rob Stokes told the Clean Energy Week gathering in Sydney……….
Mr Stokes said NSW was committed to the 41,000 GW-h goal – a target that was the federal Coalition’s pre-election commitment. Maverick MP Clive Palmer has said his party will use its balance of power in the Senate to block any effort by the Abbott government to cut the renewable energy target.
The NSW Resource Efficiency Policy will take advantage of the government’s scale – with more than half a billion dollars spent on energy, water and waste each year – to demand savings.
Investment over the next decade is likely to reach $290 million and deliver savings to energy bills of $55 million a year by then, Mr Stokes said.“We are the country’s largest employer,” he said of the NSW government. “We purchase 1 per cent of all new cars in Australia and we own half of all the land in the state – around 400,000 square kilometres.”
All new electrical equipment bought by the state will have to meet at least the average energy efficiency star rating for each appliance. For dishwashers that means 4 stars or higher and 3.5 stars for small air conditioners.
The Energy Efficiency Council said it applauded NSW’s leadership.
“Other governments around Australia should watch what NSW is doing and follow its lead,” said chief executive Rob Murray-Leach.
Improving energy performance was “a no-brainer”, strengthening the budget, as well as forcing through higher standards that build industry capacity, benefiting other parts of the economy, Mr Murray-Leach said. Mr Stokes told Fairfax Media: “It’s never been anyone’s job in the Department of Health or Department of Education to go and look at these efficiency opportunities.
“It’s a big opportunity, we’ve got a vast building stock, and there’s been nothing to activate it.”
As part of the policy, the Health Department will be required to audit energy use for 55 per cent of their power bills by June 2018; other departments will have to audit 40 per cent of their bills. The rate will rise to 90 per cent by 2024.
In a separate nod to the renewable energy sector, Mr Stokes said he has recommended that the Environment Protection Authority treat noise from wind farms as it would noise from other mining and resources projects.
“I’ve asked the NSW EPA to consider the inclusion of the draft noise standards for wind energy projects into the Industrial Noise Policy, which is due to be finalised by December,” Mr Stokes said.
“This will provide clarity and certainty for wind farm operators, and will facilitate appropriate and responsible siting of wind farms in regional and rural areas,” he said……. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/renewable-energy-nsw-to-be-australias-answer-to-california-20140722-zvl60.html#ixzz38YKi2HqG
Photon to build solar plus storage unit for NSW broadcast tower REneweconmy, By Giles Parkinson on 15 July 2014 German-based solar group Photon Energy is to install a large scale solar plus battery storage hybrid power system at a telecommunications tower in New South Wales that it says could be the fore-runner of thousands of such installations across the country.
The system, to be installed at a broadcast tower operated by BAI near Muswellbrook, will provide 24/7 power through a 39kW solar array and a 215kWh battery storage installation. An 8kW diesel generator will provide standby in emergencies.
Photon Energy says once successfully tested the concept could be implemented on thousands of sites across Australia.
Michael Gartner, the head of Photon Energy‘s Australian operations, said the project was a great step forward“ for solar power to provide clean and economically viable power supply for remote sites.
“The potential for solar PV in the replacement of conventional energy sources is substantial and will bring cost benefits and emissions savings for Australia in the coming years and decades.“
“… We can show how to incorporate solar PV into any given energy system and prove that using abundant sunlight for your own power consumption is the way forward.”……..http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/photon-build-solar-plus-storage-nsw-broadcast-tower-37262
World’s first building-integrated solar system built in Australia http://ecomento.com/2014/07/08/worlds-first-building-integrated-solar-system-built-in-australia/ July 8, 2014 – NextPremium.co Many people looking to go (at least partially) off the grid install rooftop solar panels, but a house purpose-built for solar power is another matter entirely.
The first building-integrated solar energy system was recently installed in a house in suburban Sydney, Australia, CleanTechnica reports.
The house’s rooftop array thin-film photovoltaic panels with a solar-thermal duct system that warms and cools the air. While the top layer produces electricity like any other solar panel, heat trapped between the layers is also used by the house.
Australian steel manufacturer Bluescope produced the $5 million system with government assistance in the form of a $3.2 million loan grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Government money is often an important factor in getting projects like this off the ground (no pun intended).
Whether integrated solar catches on remains to be seen, but at least the public will now get a chance to see what this technology can do. This post appeared first on NextPremium.com
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council did what the O’Farrell and Baird Governments were averse to doing – it stopped the proposed Wallarah 2 longwall coal mine in its tracks, North Coast Voices, 13 June 14 Early in 2014 the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council took Wyong Coal Pty Ltd (First Respondent), Minister for Planning and Infrastructure (Second Respondent),Planning Assessment Commission NSW (Third Respondent) and NSW Aboriginal Land Council (Fourth Respondent) to the NSW Land & Environment Court.
The judgment does not appear to have been published yet.
However, The Daily Telegraph reported on 13 June 2014:
THE controversial Wallarah 2 coal mine, which ICAC target Nick Di Girolamo lobbied for on behalf of Korean mining company Kores, has been put on hold and may never go ahead after a Land and Environment Court decision.
The decision was a win for the local Aboriginal Land Council, which had fought the mine on its land.
Planning Minister Pru Goward made clear last night she would not intervene in the matter, releasing a statement saying: “I have considered the judgment and I accept the decision of the court.”….
The proposed Wallarah 2 longwall coal mine put forward by the Korean-owned mining company Kores Australia Pty Ltd and, its joint venture partners Catherine Hill Resources Pty Ltd, Kyungdong Australia Pty Ltd, SK Networks Resources Australia (Wyong) Pty Ltd, SK Networks Resources Pty Ltd and progressed by Wyong Coal Pty Ltd (T/A Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture), had already failed basic environmental and risk management standards as the 4 June 2014 NSW Planning and Assessment Commission Final Report summary indicates:…..http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/darkinjung-local-aboriginal-land.html
Supercritical Solar Steam Could Rival Fossil Fuels http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4338 10 June 14 A breakthrough by CSIRO scientists could see solar energy replace fossil fuels in the most advanced power stations in the world. A research program at the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle focused on using solar power to create supercritical steam – super-hot, pressurised steam – to drive electric turbines in large-scale power plant.
The CSIRO team broke a world record for heating and pressurising steam using only solar thermal power in May. The work has been hailed as a coup for the renewable energy industry. Previously, only coal or gas-fired plants could achieve temperatures high enough generate supercritical steam.
Conventional solar thermal power plants currently generate subcritical steam – but CSIRO believes if these plants could be converted to supercritical steam power, the overall cost of solar electricity would be significantly lowered. “It’s like breaking the sound barrier; this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources,” said CSIRO Energy Director, Dr Alex Wonhas.
“Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels to produce supercritical steam, this breakthrough demonstrates that the power plants of the future could instead be using the free, zero emission energy of the sun to achieve the same result.”
Researchers used CSIRO’s test solar thermal plant in Newcastle to break the world record for solar steam, reaching temperatures of 570 degrees Celsius, at a pressure of 23.5 megapascals (a measure of force per unit area). It is this combination of enormous pressure and heat that makes the breakthrough such an important milestone for solar technology.
The CSIRO says the breakthrough was made possible through a $5.68 million research program supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and collaboration with researchers from solar thermal giant, Abengoa Solar.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said that while work remained before supercritical solar steam technology would rival fossil fuels, “This breakthrough brings solar thermal energy a step closer to cost competitiveness with fossil fuel generated power.”
Moree solar on track for Commonwealth funding http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-04/moree-solar-on-track/5500668 By Tim Lamacraft 4 Jun 2014,The Federal Coalition is confident the Moree Solar Farm will secure Commonwealth funding despite plans to axe its finance source.
The Government is looking to axe the Australian Renewable Energy Association, which has expressed interest in providing finance to the Moree Solar Farm, a joint initiative of Pacific Hydro and Fotowatio.
The two companies are nervous that tens-of-millions of dollars in funding is in jeopardy.
But Federal Parkes MP Mark Coulton recently met with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane on the issue.
He says the Moree Solar Farm is on track to meet Commonwealth funding approvals.
“I’ve been reassured by the Minister and his Department that there’s nothing with this project that’s ringing alarm bells and they’re very happy with it the way it is,” he said.
“Certainly the Moree Solar Farm has no reason at this stage to be fearful that the ARENA funding wont be there.”
It’s not yet clear when the Coalition will approach the Senate in an attempt to repeal the Arena Act, but projects that do not already have agreements in place will not be funded.
Aboriginal elders paint pre-mine tragedy GINA FAIRLEY Visual Arts Hub, 3 JUNE, 2014
A new exhibition from remote mining country provides a ‘prequel’ tale that goes back to colonial frontier massacres Jacky Green’s potent pictures of the environmental impact of the Macarthur River Mine’s (MRM) on the remote Gulf Country of Borroloola recently offered a powerful example of the way art tells an important contemporary story.
But the region, which sits just below the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory, has an equally charged story of land and dispossession from colonial times which is now the subject of a matching exhibition Flow of Voices 2: Stewart Hoosan and Nancy McDinny……….in this unrecognised frontier war about one-sixth of the population lost their lives in lawless massacres and violence (600 men, women and children in official records),’ said Cross Arts Projects director Jo Holder.
‘Nancy McDinny and Stewart Hoosan insist that the settlement of Australia wasn’t a simple story of Aboriginal people acquiescing to the occupation of their land, but one of resistance where many people fought back against violence, sexual abuse and dispossession’, Holder added in a statement.
‘When they were powerful old people, didn’t know how to speak English but used to talk in language, saying, “We not going to give away our land. This is our land. It belong here. This is our history, our story and our dreaming”,’ said McDinny.
The old people who set up Waralungku art centre – including McDinny, Hoosan and the late Ginger Riley (from Ngukkur) – wanted to make history paintings to account for their peoples’ agency and overwhelming belief in their just claim on their land. Renowned for their colour and realism, ‘many paintings from the Gulf are unique conceptual and analytic documents about history and contemporary issues,’ explained Holder………The partner exhibitions ‘argue for proper consultation, environmental monitoring, restoration and community benefit in exchange for resource extraction. Without proper respect for people and country racial hierarchies and “imperial” attitudes persist,’ said gallery director Jo Holder.
Green’s work captures that sentiment: ‘I want to show people what is happening to our country and to Aboriginal people. No one is listening to us. What we want. How we want to live. What we want in the future for our children. It’s for these reasons that I started to paint. I want government to listen to Aboriginal people. I want people in the cities to know what’s happening to us and our country.’
The artists and Waralungku Arts are proud to announce their plan to found a Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Marra and Gudanji People’s Keeping Place and Knowledge Centre at Borroloola.
Flow of Voices 2:
Cross Art Projects, Kings Cross
22 May – 28 June 2, 2014
CSIRO Newcastle solar breakthrough for supercritical steam ABC News 3 June 14 The CSIRO is describing research at its Newcastle energy centre as a game-changer for the renewable energy industry. The CSIRO is describing research at its Newcastle energy centre as a game-changer for the renewable energy industry.
Researchers have used solar energy to generate hot and pressurised ‘supercritical’ steam at the highest temperatures ever achieved outside of fossil sources.
Supercritical solar steam is water pressurised at enormous force and heated using solar radiation.
Around 90 per cent of Australia’s electricity is generated using fossil fuel, but only a small number of power stations are based on the more advanced supercritical steam.
The world record set at the CSIRO’s Energy Centre in Newcastle this month, was at a pressure of 23.5 megapascals and temperatures up to 570 degrees Celsius.
Project leader, Robbie McNaughton says it is the combination of pressure and temperature demonstrated at scale, that makes it such a breakthrough for solar power…… CSIRO’s Energy Director, Dr Alex Wonhas says the milestone is a game-changer for the industry.
“It’s like breaking the sound barrier,” he said.
“This step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources.”
The $9.7 million research program is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht says although more work is needed before the technology is ready for commercialisation, it is an important breakthrough and demonstrates the importance of research and development.
Mr Frischknecht says it brings solar thermal energy a step closer to cost competitiveness with fossil fuel generated power.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-03/csiro-newcastle-solar-breakthrough-for-supercritical-steam/5495744?§ion=news
In the 1840s Ben Boyd, as he was developing a settlement on Eden’s Twofold Bay, wanted to see some of his vast land holdings on the Monaro.
He needed to find a way up from the coast to the high country and it was Aboriginal people who showed him how to get there along the Bundian Way.
The 265km track had for generations connected Bilgalera (which non-Aboriginal people now called Fisheries Beach) with Targangal (now called Mt Kosciuszko).
Ben Boyd, with a young artist, Oswald Brierly, were guided to the high country by a young Aboriginal man, Budginbro, on horseback from the coast, along river flats and over some of the wildest and most rugged and beautiful parts of Australia.
For a large part of the journey they travelled along the Bundian Way and deviated along connected pathways.
The pathway has been surveyed and is now being rehabilitated, section by section, to be opened again for walkers, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, as a shared history experience celebrating that first joint expedition.
It’s a shared history which encapsulates the heritage of the early settlers and the heritage of our people who were here for many generations before the settlers came,” said Aboriginal elder Ossie Cruse as we spoke at the community’s Keeping Place………
Aboriginal work teams are currently clearing the pathway around Twofold Bay, a stunning walk around the undeveloped shoreline, little changed from Boyd’s time.
Above a beautiful beach on Eden’s Twofold Bay and looking across to the tree lined southern and eastern shores the Bundian Way project manager Noel Whittem says that the walk will emerge as a major tourist attraction especially for the visitors arriving on the cruise ships that are increasingly visiting the picturesque harbour, and where a new wharf is to be built.
The full 265km track he says will also be an attraction for bushwalkers and for those walkers who travel the world to walk ancient cultural heritage roads and tracks.
The Bundian Way is one that would predate most and tells a poignant story of the two cultures.
“We have people who want to walk the Bundian Way already.”
See the related audio for a fascinating insight into the Bundian Way project as we journey from Twofold Bay to the Keeping Place with Noel Whittem, Franz Peters, and Ossie Cruse. http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/06/02/4017106.htm
Undercover: Spies hired to infiltrate anti-coal campaign The Age, June 1, 2014 Tom Allard National Affairs Editor Former soldiers and intelligence operatives have been sent to infiltrate a network of anti-coal protesters aiming to thwart a multibillion dollar expansion of coal production in northern NSW. Using false identities, the spies-for-hire have attempted to penetrate the inner sanctum of a group of environmentalists and local landowners who have vigorously attempted to stop the coalmines at Maules Creek and Boggabri.
In what represents a significant escalation of a heated battle between Whitehaven Coal and Idemitsu Australia Resources and anti-coal activists, a Fairfax Media investigation has uncovered a clandestine campaign of significant scale but ham-fisted execution.
Several undercover agents were discovered by the activists, including one alleged spy Marnie Tisot, who was confronted on camera. The operation raises questions of its legality given the outright deception to disrupt protest movements.
Fairfax has interviewed individuals directly involved in the espionage and multiple sources with detailed inside knowledge of the surveillance have independently alleged it was orchestrated by a company run by a former Australian military intelligence officer, Tony Groves, and his partner, Maria Topia. While their firm, the Centre for Intelligence and Risk Management, had direct operational responsibility for the espionage, it is only one link in a chain of companies believed to be involved.
Who the ultimate client was remains a mystery. Spies in the field were not told, although it was clear the Centre for Intelligence and Risk Management was acting for another party or parties.
Several leading corporations and prominent Australians are also involved in the coal expansion in northern NSW and the security operations that protect them……. http://www.theage.com.au/national/undercover-spies-hired-to-infiltrate-anticoal-campaign-20140601-39ci6.html
Mike Baird gives backing for renewable energy target, SMH, Peter Hannam ENVIRONMENT EDITOR, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD May 29, 2014 The NSW government has broken ranks with conservative counterparts in Canberra and the other states by declaring its strong support for the national renewable energy target.
Unlike other Coalition leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mike Baird makes clear in his government’s submission to the federal RET review that renewable energy benefits consumers, helps energy security by diversifying sources and cuts greenhouse gas emissions.
The NSW submission notes the fixed target – now at 41,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy sources by 2020 – last year cost households in the state about $40. That sum, though, was offset by the effect renewable energy had on driving down wholesale electricity prices, the report said. ”The RET is good for NSW consumers and households – it ultimately saves money,” said Amy Kean, the state’s renewable energy advocate, who helped prepare the submission
The state also has a lot of jobs and investment at stake – some 8395 megawatts of capacity worth about $13 billion are ”progressing through the planning system”, the report said……….
The submission says projects that have met certain conditions – such as having progressed to a financial close by a particular date – could be given special consideration in any reformed RET, ”given the significant amount of effort that has already been expended in good faith”. Further reviews should also be held only every five years to bolster certainty, the NSW government said.
Analysts such as Hugh Saddler at Pitt & Sherry warn that any tinkering of the target is likely to stall new investments.
”The problem about postponing to an undefined date [is it] makes it uncertain again as to when the investments will be required,” he said. ”Once you get away from a fixed amount of gigawatt-hours in a fixed year, you’re immediately bringing back uncertainty because it depends on demand growth.”
The declaration of support is likely to be welcomed by an industry which has few outspoken supporters in conservative ranks.
Mr Baird’s predecessor, Barry O’Farrell, did not make a submission to the previous RET review less than two years ago, and was no fan of wind farms. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/mike-baird-gives-backing-for-renewable-energy-target-20140528-394ri.html#ixzz33Fp4KnBR
The Greens say renewable energy bill will benefit the Hunter http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-30/the-greens-say-renewable-energy-bill-will-benefit-the-hunter/5488224 The New South Wales Greens are confident new jobs will be created in the Hunter Valley if state MPs back its legislation to transform the energy sector. The party has seized on the Baird Government’s support for the national renewable energy target with a Bill calling for at least one 500 megawatt coal fired electricity generating unit to be shut down by 2017.
It also wants sensible, science-based wind farm planning guidelines introduced.
Green’s energy spokesman John Kaye says the move away from coal fired base load power will not hurt the Hunter.”There’s a whole lot of studies out there that show pushing up the renewable energy target, moving out of coal into wind, bring three or four times the number of jobs that already exist,” he said. “We can create new jobs, high quality jobs, unionised jobs in the wind industry, in the solar industry that will more than compensate for any loss of jobs in the coal industry.”
Plans for two Upper Hunter wind farms could benefit from the Greens push to make renewable energy a bigger part of the state’s energy mix.Scone’s Kyoto Energy Park is already approved while planning continues on the proposed Liverpool Range Wind Farm.
Mr Kaye says the government should support his party’s legislation. “What the Baird government is going to do to remove the barriers for renewable energy, what they’re going to encourage public and private investment,” he said. “Hopefully Mike Baird is turning a corner, he’s taking his government to new days where some of these Hunter wind farms can go ahead.”