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The Federal Government, in partnership with the NSW Government, has announced a landmark $2 billion agreement to lower power prices for consumers, reduce emissions and strengthen grid reliability in New South Wales.

The deal between the NSW Government and the Federal Government will include funding for transmission projects ‘Humelink’ in southern NSW and the Queensland-NSW interconnector, and for the nation’s first dedicated renewable energy zone in NSW’s Central West.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the support for further transmission and a Renewable Energy Zone should provide some exciting opportunities for a wider rollout of renewable and storage technologies in NSW.

“The agreement is a positive step forward for the continued growth of the NSW renewable energy sector,” Mr Thornton said. 

Mr Thornton said the exact details of the investment and initiatives are still unclear.

“While we are still waiting on the detail of where and how the $2 billion will be spent, any initiatives to speed up the rollout of clean technologies, such as hydrogen research, are very exciting for NSW.”

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said the economic case for developing local gas resources is irrefutable – well-paid and secure local jobs, state royalties, more secure supply and downward pressure on gas and electricity prices.

“If industry can further explore and develop gas resources with governments allowing proper environmental assessment and approvals processes to occur, Australia can continue its shift to a lower carbon, sustainable energy economy.

“It’s important for Australia’s oil and gas industry to be recognised for the positive role it can continue to play in the broader energy and emissions reduction debate.  Natural gas is the perfect complement to the growing use of renewables and will continue to be so for decades to come.”

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