Category Archives: Energy

Liberal/Nationals lack ambition needed for energy policy fit for 21st Century and reducing risk of climate change

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has decried the vacuum in national energy policy and the triumph of ideology over energy reform at the Smart Energy Summit in Sydney today.

Mr Turnbull departed from towing the Liberal/National line by asserting renewable energy could simultaneously deliver a reduction in dangerous carbon pollution and cheaper electricity for the nation.

NSW Greens Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, “The take-over of the Federal Liberal/Nationals by the hard right faction places climate deniers and big mining in the driver’s seat of energy policy in Australia and they are quickly accelerating towards a cliff of climate consequences.

“Malcolm Turnbull is dead right. We can’t afford to let ideology and idiocy get in the way of the ambitious energy policy needed to deliver a better future for people and the planet.

“Our weather, our water and all our planet’s life support systems don’t give a stuff about your opinion or ideology, they are governed by fact.

“The science is telling us we are approaching a global crisis where if we don’t get out of coal by 2030 then it will be too late to stop catastrophic climate change. The decisions our leaders are making today will determine whether we end coal in time or we risk danger or death.

“If the Federal or NSW governments can’t come up with a credible plan that keeps us safely under 1.5 degrees of warming, then they should step aside for leaders who can,” he said.

Speaking at the Summit earlier today, NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin talked up his government’s ‘aspirational’ goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 despite having no clear plan for achieving the target.

“The Liberal/National Government had squandered seven years without a strategic energy or climate policy for NSW. In that time, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions have grown and it is lagging right at the bottom in terms of renewables across the nation.

“Even the aspirational net-zero emissions target has no credibility with 11 new coal mines in the NSW planning pipeline and no end to coal in sight.

“The NSW Government bet and lost on the Federal government bailing it out with some kind of national energy policy. Now, it’s time for voters to have their say on the NSW Liberal/Nationals massive energy and climate failure and the polling suggests they’re about to be shown the door from NSW,” he said.

Greens welcome investment in NSW energy transmission infrastructure as opportunity for supporting new renewables

A fortnight after the Greens released its plan for eight renewable energy zones and upgrades to transmission projects in NSW, the State Government has today released its NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy.

The Greens have welcomed the four priority transmission projects identified in the strategy, including upgrades to the interconnectors with Queensland and Victoria, and a new interconnector with South Australia to enable renewable energy projects to connect to the grid and increase the resilience of the power network.

However, Greens MP and Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said that with the end of the Federal Renewable Energy Target and no carbon price in place, additional and specific state-based policies were needed to provide the framework for renewable energy investment.

“The Greens strongly support new electricity transmission infrastructure for NSW to facilitate renewable energy, but we need the right policy framework in place to ensure provide the investment certainty for renewable energy,” he said.

“We are in a climate emergency which requires a rapid transformation from fossil fuels to renewable energy and storage. This strategy is a good start, but we need more state-based policies to drive the transformation.  Victoria, Queensland and the ACT are all leaving NSW behind.

“The Greens want NSW to be a renewable energy superpower.  We have the solar and wind resources and the expertise, what we need is the political will and right policy settings that will bring jobs and investment to regional areas of NSW.

“We want support from all major parties for our plan to establish eight priority Renewable Energy Zones for NSW as part of a national plan to supercharge investment in large-scale renewables connected to new transmission infrastructure.

“NSW should prepare now for the major transformation in the energy grid over coming years as outdated coal-fired power stations reach the end of their life and new connections from wind and large-scale solar plug in. It’s a great opportunity to become a renewable energy powerhouse,” he said.

Science is in: Approval of new coal mines such as Bylong risks dangerous pollution and climate change

The NSW Government should update the terms of reference of the Independent Planning Commission to reflect the latest science and not allow the approval of any new thermal coal mines or mine extensions in NSW.

In the lead-up to the Independent Planning Commission Public Meeting on Bylong Coal Mine in Mudgee tomorrow, the NSW Greens have called on the NSW Government to also rule out the Bylong coal mine and any new thermal coal mines in the NSW planning pipeline.

The recent IPCC report warned the world must quit coal by 2050 and avoid tapping the vast majority fossil fuels for the best opportunity of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.

If approved the Bylong coal mine would be licenced to operate until 2044, producing 343.2 million tonnes of carbon pollution in its lifetime.

NSW Greens resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said the tight time frame for halting and reversing rising emissions means NSW cannot delay action.

“The NSW Liberal/Nationals ignore climate change at their peril,” he said today.

“The decisions made today will determine our fate. There should be no new coal mines or coal mine expansions in an era of worsening climate change, especially with the impacts of climate change so evident in the impacts of this severe drought.

“It would be negligent and irresponsible for the NSW Government to allow the Bylong coal mine proposal to go ahead.

“The Bylong Valley is rich in natural beauty, fertile agricultural land and significant water and river resources. These are the lasting legacy we want to leave future generations, not dangerous pollution and out-of-control climate change,” Mr Buckingham said.

Details
What: Independent Planning Commission Public Meeting on Bylong Coal Mine
When: 9am, Wednesday 7 November
Where: Parklands Resort and Conference Centre, Mudgee
More details:
https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2018/10/bylong-coal-project

📷: Lock the Gate Alliance

Federal Resources Minister Matthew Canavan ignores science that new coal mines risk fuelling catastrophic climate change

Federal Resources Minister Matthew Canavan should listen to the science and not give approval for any new coal mines or mine extensions for the best chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.

The Minister donned the hard hat and visited the site of a proposed 135 megatonne extension of Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine this weekend, indicating support for more new coal mining in the Upper Hunter.

If approved the mine would operate over the next 30 years, producing 385 million tonnes of carbon pollution in its lifetime.

NSW Greens resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Minister Canavan should not ignore the recent IPCC report that warned the world must quit coal by 2050 and avoid tapping the vast majority fossil fuels or risk catastrophic levels of climate change.

“Minister Matthew Canavan and the Federal Government can’t keep pushing their outdated, pro-mining agenda on communities like Boggabri and the Upper Hunter. The Liberal/Nationals ignore climate change at their peril,” he said today.

“The decisions made today will determine our fate. There can be no new approvals for thermal coal mines or mine extensions in NSW. Vickery coal mine must be retired and rehabilitated, not thrown a lifeline for more coal production and pollution.

“Australia is becoming like the big tobacco companies, we keep pushing a product we know isn’t safe or healthy out into the market, regardless of the risk.

“The vested interests of the mining industry have too much power and influence over our Federal and NSW Liberal/National politicians. They are making decisions in the best interests of big mining companies, not what’s best in the long-term for communities and our natural environment.

“There should be no new coal mines or coal mine expansions in an era of worsening climate change, especially with the impacts of climate change so evident in the impacts of this severe drought. It is negligent and irresponsible for the Minister to allow the Vickery coal mine proposal to proceed.”

📷: Northern Daily Leader

Tiny, last minute spend on ’emerging energy’ won’t fix govt’s lack of credible energy and emissions reduction policy

The NSW Government has today launched an Emerging Energy Fund that promises $55 million for gas and renewable energy, a figure the Greens have slammed as totally inadequate and  lacking the ambition needed to transition NSW towards 100% renewable energy.

The $55 million is totally insufficient when you consider the NSW Government:

  • Received $37 billion from privatising the state’s electricity assets since their election;
  • Received $4.1 billion for the transfer of Snowy Hydro to the federal government;
  • Underspent the NSW Climate Change Fund by $252 million between $2014-17;
  • Gave $70 million to the Greyhound racing industry;
  • Spent $87 million on advertising; and
  • Gave $100 million to the horse racing industry as a tax break.

The Emerging Energy Program represents just 0.14% of the $37 billion the government reaped from selling off public energy assets.

Greens Energy and Climate Action spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham labelled the Emerging Energy Fund nothing more than a fig leaf announcement that barely covered the fact NSW remained without a genuine, effective energy or emissions reduction policy.

“This is a damp squib of an energy policy from a Liberal/National Government that has neglected renewable energy and climate change for seven and a half years,” he said today.

“The community would recognise that $55 million is a drop in the ocean for the energy-system restructure that is underway and will not stop NSW from lagging behind other states on renewable energy.

“It’s just 0.14% of the $37 billion the government has reaped from selling off energy assets in NSW. It’s also miserly when you consider they underspent the climate change fund to the tune of $252.9 million between 2014-17.

“It miserly compared to the Victorian Government’s $1.24 billion scheme investing in rooftop solar alone or its substantial state-based Renewable Energy Target.

“This money could be spent on fossil fuels, with the emissions limit is set at 0.5 tonnes of CO2/MWh which allows gas projects, not just true renewable energy.

“What NSW needs is genuine investment with long-term support policies such as state-based Renewable Energy Target, a tax on carbon pollution and renewable power purchase agreements by the State Government.

“NSW should not miss out on the clean energy, lower power prices, jobs and economic growth from growing our share of energy from wind, solar and other renewables.

“I’m pleased the government has finally recognised that the shift away from coal to renewable energy is inevitable. Premier Gladys Berejiklian should have a conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison to to burst his delusions about building new coal-fired power stations in Australia.

“Renewables, energy and climate change will be at the very top of the agenda at the NSW and Federal elections. If this Liberal/National Government doesn’t stop the spin and get real on energy policy, it will find the community will vote for other leaders who will,” Mr Buckingham said.

Greens propose eight Renewable Energy Zones for NSW

The Greens have proposed eight priority Renewable Energy Zones for NSW as part of a national plan to supercharge investment in large-scale solar and drive an unprecedented move towards 100% renewable energy for Australia.

The plan would establish a national network of 31 Renewable Energy Zones to enable the efficient planning and development of large-scale renewable energy, including Broken Hill, North West and Northern NSW. A new $2.8 Billion Grid Transformation Fund would support the augmentation of transmission infrastructure required to connect these new zones to the existing electricity grid.

NSW Greens Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, “The Greens want to unlock NSW’s future as a renewable energy powerhouse.

“The recent IPCC report warned of the need to end coal by 2050 to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, strengthening the push for fast-tracking renewable energy in Australia.

“Labor and the Liberal/Nationals are ignoring the science. If we don’t end their addiction to coal, we’re stuffed.

“The Greens are the only party with the policies capable of implementing the rapid and far reaching transitions required to limit global warming.

“Our plan for a network of Renewable Energy Zones can unlock NSW’s potential, creating clean energy and jobs.

“The current national energy grid is stuck in the past, sending wires out to polluting coal-fired power stations. NSW needs better connections out to regions with abundant solar and wind resources so they can feed cleaner renewable power into the grid and help bring electricity prices down for all.

“We must prepare now for the major transformation in the energy grid over coming years as outdated coal-fired power stations reach the end of their life and new connections from wind and large-scale solar plug in.

“The Greens want NSW to power ahead as a special Renewable Energy Zone and enjoy cheap power, greater energy security and the opportunity for new jobs and innovation.

“Energy and climate policy in Australia and NSW is in a shambles. The NSW Government has been in for seven years yet it has no significant policy for supporting a low-carbon energy or driving investment in renewable energy and associated jobs in regional areas.

“We need a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy for a chance of a future free from pollution and climate damage,” he said

Greens slam NSW for voting against developing a climate plan at COAG meeting

NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin has voted against an ACT Government motion at the COAG Energy Council for a national emissions reduction scheme for the electricity sector, despite State Parliament debating numerous motions criticising the government for its lack of energy policy and emissions reduction strategy this week.

The proposal from Greens ACT Minister for Environment Shane Rattenbury asked for work to develop a suitable greenhouse gas emissions reduction mechanism for the electricity sector. The plan was opposed and blocked by the Liberal/National Federal Government and the Liberal/National states governments of NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.

Greens Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said “Energy Minister Don Harwin failed the people of NSW by voting against a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan.

“The Berejiklian Government has hitched its energy policy to the Federal government and now that the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is scuttled there is a total energy policy vacuum in Australia’s largest state.

“Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT all have comprehensive state-based policy to transition their states to renewable energy and reduce emission. NSW has no credible policy.

“All NSW has is ‘aspirational’ target of zero carbon emissions by 2050, but that’s a long way off and there is no credible plan or policy mechanism to reach that goal and no sense of commitment from the State Government.

“Today Minister Harwin voted with the coal hugging dinosaurs to reject developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan that could help NSW lower its pollution and meet its targets.

“It’s an embarrassment that NSW now sides with the hapless Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor and his ‘fair dinkum energy’ rhetoric – that is fair dinkum ridiculous.

“The abandonment of the NEG has left NSW exposed. The only clear energy policy for the NSW Government was relying on a plan from their Liberal/National colleagues in Canberra who are in disarray on energy policy as well as other areas.

“The community expects leadership and a comprehensive plan for reduce our growing greenhouse emissions by planning for an end to coal, a just transition for coal-affected communities and investment in renewable energy.

“NSW can be a renewables powerhouse, with all the jobs, business opportunities and cost-effective clean energy it can bring,” he said.

« Older Entries