The NSW Government has paved the way for a cleaner, more reliable energy future with the completion of its ambitious Renewable Energy Action Plan, Minister for Energy and Utilities, Don Harwin, announced today.
Speaking at the Smart Energy Council’s NSW Smart Energy Summit, Mr Harwin said today marks a major milestone in the Government’s commitment to delivering a modern energy system that can support the State’s energy needs well into the future.
“The Federal Government may have changed its position on energy policy but we haven’t changed ours.”
“In 2013, we set 24 ambitious targets to increase renewable energy generation in NSW and we are proud to announce today that all of them have been realised, helping ensure we have sufficient and affordable supply as we transition to a renewable energy future.”
“When the Plan was launched we had no large-scale solar generators but since then our actions have helped deliver Australia’s first solar farms at Nyngan and Broken Hill and NSW now has nine operational solar farms and 11 wind farms.
“NSW has one of the strongest and most diverse pipelines of energy generation projects distinguishing us as the most resilient state for power supply with our share of wind and solar more than tripling since the plan first launched.”
Mr Harwin said the plan has also encouraged others to enter the energy market. “It is staggering that we now have almost 90 large-scale renewable energy projects in our planning system, totalling around 18,500 megawatts.”
“This represents close to $26 billion in potential investment, the highest on record, with could the capacity to deliver enough energy to power all NSW households,” he said. Mr Harwin said the plan was about more than just large-scale solar and wind power.
“We have rolled out rooftop solar on government buildings through our Solar Power Purchase Agreement Program, complemented by a new Smart Batteries program, whilst unlocking opportunities for generation and storage on WaterNSW assets.”
“One in six NSW households and small businesses are accessing the benefits of rooftop solar and many more are expected to follow, as system costs continue to fall. “NSW customers have embraced new technologies and are increasingly taking control of their own energy supply. “I congratulate those who have helped implement the plan and contributed to the growth of the NSW renewable energy sector,” Mr Harwin said.
This announcement follows a suite of energy affordability initiatives from the NSW Government including the Energy Switch program, a platform focused on empowering customers to shop around for the best deal with an average cost-saving of over $550 per household.