Written by Anamaria Correal, Paralegal
Greater energy diversification can be defined as energy generated from natural resources such as wind, solar, waves, and hydropower, among others. Australia is moving to a lower emission future to combat climate change, and renewable energy has an important role in reducing emissions, cutting carbon pollution, and diversifying the economy.
In the face of a lack of an energy policy at a federal level, the states and territories started introducing pathways and policies to support and accelerate the renewable energy transition. This article will focus on New South Wales initiatives to increase clean energy, but also reduce emissions.
The New South Wales (NSW) Roadmap
NSW Electricity Infrastructure Act 2020 (NSW) (the Act) has been passed by both houses and was assented in December 2020. It gives effect to an ambitious Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Roadmap) to transition the electricity sector into an affordable, reliable and low emissions electricity. The roadmap aims to:
- Reduce carbon emissions by approximately 90 million tonnes;
- Deliver approximately 12GW of new transmission capacity through Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) in the Central-West Orana, New England, Illawarra, and Southwest and Central Coast regions in NSW;
- Attract up to $32 billion in private investment for regional energy infrastructure investment;
- Increase renewable energy from 16% to 60% by 2030.
In addition, NSW has set out a goal of Net Zero emissions by 2050, the Net Zero Plan Stage one: 2020-2030 (plan) is forecast to deliver a 35% emissions reduction in NSW by 2030 by accelerating innovative technologies, creating more than 2,000 jobs, and attracting over $11 billions of investment. This is evidence of NSW’s movement into becoming an attractive destination for renewable energy investment.
Low emissions technologies
Many countries are looking for a sustainable future and have been committed to significantly reducing their carbon footprint. This means that international demand for low emissions technologies is increasing – this technology is now being manufactured and deployed at lower costs than traditional electricity generators, becoming economically competitive and creating further opportunities for business. An example of this technology can be Hydrogen which can be used as a fuel to generate electricity. For instance, a power plant running both hydrogen and natural gas will be built in NSW to accelerate the energy transition in Australia.
In conclusion, NSW is making strategic choices to increase its clean energy, via the Electricity Infrastructure Road Map, the Net-Zero Emission Goal, the growth of renewable energies, along with the implementation of low emissions technologies. This is increasing the number opportunities for investors by improving network infrastructure, planning processes, and providing competitive prices in the clean industry.
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