Sep 14, 2007 - 3:43pm
The Climate Institute believes the recommendations of the Owens inquiry
fail to address the fundamental questions facing the New South Wales
electricity sector in a carbon constrained world.
The inquiry calls
for the early decision on Australia’s short term emission cap and the
implementation of an energy efficiency target but fails to acknowledge:
To help avoid dangerous levels of climate change Australia will need
to reverse rising greenhouse pollution levels within five years. This
will not occur if any state builds new traditional fossil fuel based
generation to meet new demand growth.
- The reality of global
investment in clean energy. Clean energy sources of power are now
mainstream investment choices for industry and in 2006, 20% of global
investment in power generation was in clean energy sources.
modelling that shows that NSW electricity needs can be met with a
portfolio of clean energy sources as long as governments provide
leadership in implementing a comprehensive national plan to reverse
rising pollution levels and switch Australia to clean energy.
Independent modelling by one of Australia’s leading electricity
experts, provided to the Owen’s inquiry in the Climate Institutes
- With no new policies greenhouse gas
emissions from the NSW electricity sector will increase by around 30% by
2025. This is equivalent to adding over 4 million cars to NSW roads.
This is inconsistent with State Government policy to stabilise emissions
at 2000 levels by 2025.
- Known clean energy power sources are
available today and are capable of meeting NSW electricity needs to
2020. Under a scenario where moderate national greenhouse reduction
policies are introduced, in 2020, coal generation stays at close to
today’s levels, gas accounts for 9% of generation, and renewable energy
such as wind and existing Snowy Hydro account for 21%. The impact of
these greenhouse policies would be less then $4/week for the average NSW
household and would stabilise the State’s electricity sector emissions
at around today’s levels.
Ignoring the greenhouse
implications, modelling also indicates that under current policy
settings there is no need for a new base load power station in NSW for
at least the next decade. Higher utilisation of the State’s existing
capacity, current plant upgrades, further investment in new gas-fired
peaking plants, and more renewable energy investment generated by the
State’s renewable energy target is projected to supply NSW generation
needs to around 2020.
The Climate Institute calls on the NSW Government to:
Read our submission to the enquiry here
Rule out any new fossil fuel base load generation that is not
equipped with fully operative carbon capture and storage technology;
- Rule out indemnity against future carbon risk for new investment, and;
the absence of an expanded national clean energy target like MRET,
increase the state renewable energy target to 20-25% of generation by