PowerNSW: Greens announce ambitious statewide energy plan to rewire the future

MEDIA RELEASE 19th February 2109: The Greens have announced their ambitious plan for a publicly-owned 100% renewable energy supplier and retailer, PowerNSW, and the creation of regional renewable energy hubs across the State to tackle climate change and electricity prices.

Greens candidate for Lismore, Ms Sue Higginson said “PowerNSW is a game changer and will put power back in the hands of the public and will build, distribute and retail affordable and publicly owned renewable energy across NSW”.

“Unlike the major corporate energy players who maximise profits and damage the environment, PowerNSW will deliver cheap, reliable and renewable power for everyone.

“PowerNSW will build a 100% renewable energy supply for NSW by 2030 by commissioning one gigawatt of low cost, public renewable energy every year.”

“I was very pleased to see that NSW Labor has finally come some of the way on supporting a publicly owned energy company in line with our long standing Greens policy. However the Labor plan fails on the big ticket items of a publicly owned retailer and will not produce the lowest cost, large scale renewable projects that are needed.”

“Let’s not forget that Labor along with the Coalition are still captured by fossil fuel interests and have no clear commitment to end coal”.

“Under our plan, PowerNSW will construct four regional renewable hubs as part of a $5 billion Regional Clean Infrastructure investment to deliver jobs and tackle climate change.

“The renewable energy hubs are based on the State’s extraordinary renewable energy assets, in the Murray-Riverina region, Northern NSW Tablelands, Central West NSW and Broken Hill.

“Each renewable energy hub will see targeted investment in new network capacity to help deliver renewable energy to the grid and build jobs in regional communities.

“PowerNSW will be a gamechanger in the retail energy market. With a growing pool of publicly owned renewable energy assets, it will provide the lowest cost and cleanest renewable energy that is 100% reliable, 100% renewable and 100% affordable.

“PowerNSW will save NSW households an average of more than $200 a year on electricity prices every year by stripping out the profits and advertising that inflates the corporate pricing.

At a time when the average household in the broken National Electricity Market pays close to 20% of

their bill – in retail costs and profits a year, it is essential we have a public retailer to drive down prices.

“With climate change biting so hard, and households being gouged by a broken privatised electricity market, PowerNSW can lead NSW to a bright energy future powered by 100% clean, green and publicly owned renewable energy”.

“We have to rebuild the energy system in this state, every voter we are speaking with has made it clear that energy prices, climate change and protecting our environment are their overriding key concerns.” Ms Higginson said.

The detailed policy announcement contains a range of measures:

  • A commitment to help transition the state to 100% renewables by 2030 by building 1 gigawatt of public renewable energy each year.
  • $15 million allocated to the establishment of PowerNSW.
  • Strategic investment in new renewable energy projects, strengthening the NSW power grid and large-scale energy storage projects.
  • Run competitive tenders tenders to award contracts for the construction of the lowest cost renewable energy projects in NSW, including wind and solar.
  • Just transitions: the plan would create up to 4,000 new long-term jobs for NSW workers, in construction, maintenance and operation and provide opportunities for those impacted by the impending closure of NSW’s ageing fleet of coal fired power stations to transition to the clean energy jobs of the future.
  • $5 billion committed to the Regional Clean Infrastructure Fund, which will establish these four regional hubs.

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