Ecogeneration / 18 February 2019

Labor has promised to deliver 7GW of new renewable energy in NSW by 2030 if it wins government at the state election in March.

A Daley Labor government will deliver the guarantees through a series of reverse auctions, to push the price of new-build renewable energy down and reduce the cost of electricity.

This package includes the creation of a new state owned corporation to deliver a further 1GW of renewable energy generation and storage over the next decade.

NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley said the commitment to guarantee pricing gave the private energy sector the confidence to invest in NSW and create thousands of new jobs.

“This approach is already being successfully used in the ACT and in Victoria and overseas and the Queensland government is preparing for such a move,” Daley said in a statement.

“NSW cannot be a supplicant state for energy. We have to produce our own energy, create our own jobs and give energy security to our own people. If we don’t move now, we will completely fall behind and lose our advantage.”

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said a renewable energy target driven by reverse auctions was one of the CEC’s state election recommendations.

“Reverse auctions – where companies bid to provide the best-value-for-money projects – are an excellent way of ensuring that public money is invested efficiently,” Thornton said. “They also create enough certainty to encourage investment in local supply chains and local content.

“We have seen a big boost to jobs and investment delivered by reverse auction initiatives in states such as Victoria and the ACT. The flow-on benefits for communities surrounding wind and solar projects are very real, from direct employment opportunities to investment in local businesses and community benefit funds.”

The timing, size and content of each auction round will be determined in conjunction with the Australian Energy Market Operator. Subject to this, a Daley Labor government will commission 4GW in its first term of government.

The announcement builds on last week’s commitment to take NSW beyond 1 million solar homes over the next decade.

Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle said that based on Victorian modelling on a similar scheme the move could create 13,485 jobs, attract $9.5 billion in capital investment and deliver $5 billion in economic benefits to the regional NSW economies.

“Labor’s Clean Energy Plan will turbocharge the energy market in NSW. It will lead to cleaner and more secure energy and ultimately deliver lower power prices for households. Everyone will benefit from our well-planned and orderly transition to renewable energy,” Searle said. 

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