Climate Council urges NSW to boost renewable energy and storage as closing of Eraring nears

Eraring Power Station. Image credit: Origin Energy Limited

The New South Wales Government should devote all of its resources to increasing renewable energy and storage so that the state can power through the shutdown of Eraring Power Station, Australia’s largest coal-fired power station.

According to the Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie, the planned 2025 shutdown of Eraring can and must be maintained if NSW is to fulfil its carbon reduction objectives and usher in a new age of inexpensive, dependable zero-emission energy.

McKenzie stated that now is the time for Premier Chris Minns to expedite the transition to low-cost, sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, batteries, and pumped hydro.

“With the right policies, NSW can create thousands of new clean energy jobs, drive down power bills and continue to deliver reliable electricity supply for homes and businesses,” the council CEO noted. 

As a result, The Climate Council has identified three critical initiatives that the NSW Government could undertake right away to maintain energy dependability and cut costs as coal-fired power plants continue to close.

First, McKenzie stated that the government must task the energy market operator with bringing on more renewables and storage as soon as possible.

“It can do so by fast-tracking tenders for new capacity, releasing a new tender for the 191 megawatts needed to fill the reliability gap caused by the exit of Eraring, and expanding NSW projects underwritten by the federal Capacity Investment Scheme,” she remarked. 

She also said that the government should move quickly to approve the 2,300 megawatts of wind and solar projects that are currently awaiting approval to connect to the existing transmission network.

“Further, the NSW Government should help large energy users like households, businesses and industry use energy in smarter and more efficient ways,” McKenzie said. 

This comprises a substantial energy-saving package for social and public housing, incentives for commercial batteries and demand response, as well as assistance for industrial load shifting.

“The renewable energy transformation is underway, but it needs leadership from the NSW Government. With the right policies now, Eraring’s closure can be managed smoothly while securing more affordable and reliable clean power,” concluded McKenzie.

In order to address the climate issue and guarantee that Eraring can close on schedule in 2025, the Climate Council continues to push the NSW Government to accelerate renewable energy projects.