Climate action & renewable energy

Transitioning to clean, renewable energy will benefit all of us, and we must act now to hand the next generation a sustainable future.

The Labor and Liberal parties are holding NSW back, because they’re in the grip of fossil fuel companies.

Only the NSW Greens will create a renewable economy that tackles climate change, creates jobs, makes bills cheaper and energy more reliable. We will:

Establish PowerNSW. A new, publicly owned electricity company to generate, distribute and retail renewable energy for the people of NSW fairly and affordably. More »

Invest in renewable energy. Commit $1 billion to support local community renewable projects, and a further $1.5 billion a year in large-scale, publicly-owned renewable energy projects. More »

Upgrade the power grid. Build much-needed new public network infrastructure, connecting our abundant renewable energy resources to the National Electricity Market. More »

Invest in household solar and batteries. Provide rebates for one more than million households to install solar panels and battery storage. More »

Invest in clean energy storage. Increase NSW’s energy storage infrastructure, ensuring NSW has a clean, publicly owned and reliable energy supply for the future. More »

Quit coal by 2030. Make it illegal to mine, burn or export thermal coal by 2030, and use the auctioning of pre-2030 export permits to finance a Clean Energy Transition Fund. More »

Carbon price for zero emissions by 2040. Bring back a carbon price for industries that release greenhouse gasses, to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. More »

Support the transition from coal. Fund a ten-year plan to support workers and communities who currently depend on the coal industry to develop new skills and opportunities. More »

Our plan for climate action and renewable energy

PowerNSW

PowerNSW: a new, publicly owned electricity company

Privatisation of the electricity market in NSW has failed. Power is increasingly expensive, while little action is taken on climate change and energy companies continue to make record profits.

The Greens will establish PowerNSW, a publicly owned energy company to manage the growing fleet of publicly owned renewable energy assets and deliver 100% renewable electricity for consumers reliably and affordably.

PowerNSW will offer electricity prices without the excess charges and inflated margins demanded by the major energy companies. This would halve retail costs, saving the average customer over $200 a year.

The Greens will allocate $15 million for the establishment of PowerNSW.

Aside from managing renewable energy assets and delivering power to consumers, PowerNSW will also be responsible for overseeing an upgrade of the NSW power grid and development of large-scale energy storage projects.

Importantly, the electricity sold by PowerNSW will be 100% renewable, delivering affordable, reliable and zero emission energy for everyone. After establishment costs PowerNSW will be self-funding from its operating revenue.

 

 

Wind farm

Invest in renewable energy

NSW has some of Australia’s best resources for wind, solar and hydro energy, yet the state is lagging behind the rest of the nation in transitioning to these renewable energy sources.

The Greens’ plan would see government invest directly in establishing new renewable energy projects, with a focus on delivering a fairer, zero emissions electricity grid that works in the interest of our community.

A $1 billion Renewable Energy Fund for local communities and councils

For too long, the energy system has been controlled by a handful of large corporations. The Greens know that local communities and councils are bursting with plans to build their own renewable energy projects, and we will deliver $1 billion over four years to make this happen.

These funds will boost investments made by local community groups and councils throughout NSW, matching local investments in renewable energy dollar for dollar.

This fund will include:

  • A rigorous assessment process that will identify the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable energy projects that can be built during the four-year program, delivering the benefits back to our local communities.

  • Reforming the energy retailer and supplier rules eliminating the barriers to small and medium scale renewable energy projects

         accessing the grid and providing the ability for Local Electricity
         Trading between community projects and consumers.

  • Requiring all tenders to include a minimum number of apprenticeships to upskill young workers and reduce regional youth unemployment.

One gigawatt of renewable energy projects each year

The Greens have a plan to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030, and to help get there PowerNSW will run annual competitive tenders to award contracts for the construction of low cost renewable energy projects in NSW, including wind and solar.

Each year, proposals for up to one gigawatt of new generation capacity will be considered, ensuring that enough new generation capacity is being built within the state and allowing for a complete transition away from our ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations.

Reverse auctions and competitive tenders have been proven to deliver new renewable energy power stations at lowest cost. These projects will be owned and operated by PowerNSW, delivering 100 per cent renewable electricity for NSW consumers at fair prices.

This will create up to 4,000 new, long-term jobs for NSW workers and provide opportunities for those impacted by the impending closure of coal fired power stations in NSW to transition to clean energy jobs of the future.

 

 

Solar

Renewable energy infrastructure hubs


Electricity networks play a crucial role in delivering electricity from where it is generated to our communities. However, our current network infrastructure has been shaped around delivering electricity from fossil fuel generators.

The Greens will invest in network infrastructure to deliver electricity from renewable energy generators to our communities. The Greens NSW will commit to establishing a Regional Clean Infrastructure Fund, to invest in building the publicly owned electricity grid of the future.

The Greens NSW have identified four priority Renewable Energy Infrastructure Hubs, where targeted investment in new network capacity will help deliver renewable energy to the rest of the state. These hubs are:

Northern NSW Tablelands

The Northern NSW Tablelands is an ideal location for wind farms and pumped hydro energy storage projects. Investment will unlock potential for the region to serve as an energy hub delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy for NSW.

This hub will also support a new transmission network interconnector to be established between NSW and Queensland, further strengthening the electricity supplies between the two states.

Central West NSW Region

Central NSW is an ideal location for solar generation. Projects like the Nyngan Solar Farm have shown the potential for this region to lead the nation in solar generation.

New transmission network connections into the Central West NSW region, combined with co-located battery storage systems, will help deliver reliable solar energy to the rest of NSW.

The Broken Hill Region

There is already a successful solar farm at Broken Hill, and potential for many more. A renewable energy hub based nearby would also be ideally located to include a new interconnector to South Australia, supporting further improvements to the reliability of the electricity grid for all Australians.

The Murray and Riverina Region

The Murray and Riverina Region has the best of both worlds with excellent solar and wind resources.

An additional interconnector with Victoria will also complete investment in strengthening NSW’s connections with its neighbouring states, providing greater strength and reliability for our electricity system.

 

 

Household solar

Household solar and batteries

Alongside investing in large scale, publicly owned renewable energy, the Greens will empower local communities to continue their leadership in distributed energy systems. We will ensure all members of our community, including our most financially vulnerable, can take advantage of the benefits of installing solar and storage.

$2,000 solar and storage rebate for renters for community energy projects

Renters have effectively been locked out of the market for residential energy systems, due to the challenges of split-incentives between landlords and tenants. That’s one-third of NSW households who have been unable to benefit from installing solar and storage.

Research by the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures has found that the establishment of community energy projects, such as solar gardens, would enable all consumers, including renters, to enjoy the benefits of owning their own energy systems.

The Greens NSW will provide $2,000 rebates for households to buy into community energy projects, supporting the establishment of new projects, and break down the barriers to distributed renewable energy.

These projects will deliver hundreds of dollars in savings for renters, while supporting the transition to a 100% renewable energy system.

Supporting the installation of 1 million battery storage systems

The Greens NSW will provide a rebate of up to $2,000 to support the installation of up to one million battery storage systems in homes across NSW. This will help NSW households manage their energy demand, and provide crucial backup supply to manage system peaks, keeping prices low.

The Greens NSW recognise that to build a modern energy system, energy storage technologies have an important role in supporting our system. Investing in more battery storage will help provide reliable, sustainable and affordable energy for everyone.

As with rooftop solar, the cost of residential battery storage systems has fallen dramatically over the last few years and continues to fall. Residential battery systems maximise the value of energy delivered by rooftop solar systems and help deliver clean energy at night, when the sun is not shining and people consume more power.

 

 

Storage

Clean energy storage


Large-scale energy storage systems will play a critical role in meeting our future energy needs, allowing clean energy to be stored and then used at the times it is needed most, while underpinning the continued reliability of our energy system.

$500 million for large-scale energy storage


The Greens will invest $500 million in new large-scale public energy storage projects, including large-scale battery storage and pumped hydro energy storage systems positioned within our Renewable Energy Infrastructure Hubs.

Deployment of battery storage systems into government owned buildings


To strengthen the reliability of the energy system in our most crucial areas, The Greens will allocate $50 million for the installation of battery storage systems in NSW public schools and hospitals, guaranteeing supply to these critical services, and supporting the installation of distributed clean energy systems across NSW.

 

 

Quit coal

Quit coal by 2030

Australia exported 203 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2017-18, which represented 80% of the amount mined.

Under the Greens plan, a declining amount of thermal coal will be permitted for export each year up to 2030. After 2030, it will become an offence to export coal.

It is time that NSW and the Commonwealth worked together to end the coal industry in NSW. At a state level this requires fundamental changes to NSW planning laws to prohibit the development of any new coal mine or expansion of any existing coal mine. This has been a key part of The Greens’ energy and climate change policy in NSW for over a decade.

At a national level the Commonwealth will issue tradable permits equal to the declining quota set out in legislation each year. Each year, thermal coal exporters will be required to surrender permits equal to their annual coal exports. In the first year exporters will purchase permits from the Clean Energy Regulator at $1 a tonne equal to the previous year’s exports of each company, in subsequent years permits will be auctioned by the authority and the price will be set by the market with a floor price of $1.

Export companies will either need to lower their exports, secure enough permits in the auction and/or purchase from other companies that have a surplus. Over time the value of traded permits are expected to rise as the quota declines. The revenue raised will be used to further action on climate change and assist communities in transition.

Existing mine licence and royalty obligations administered by states and territories will continue.

The Greens’ plan for an orderly phase out will provide certainty to industry, providing ample opportunity to invest capital into developing the infrastructure and expertise to export clean energy.

The plan also makes it an offence to burn coal for power generation after 2030.

By working together we can rescue the climate and quit coal in NSW by 2030.

 

 

Blue skies

Carbon price for zero emissions by 2040

Greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere by a range of industries, not just coal-fired power stations. Aside from carbon, the release of nitrous oxide and methane also contribute significantly to global warming.

Therefore, while The Greens plan for 100% renewable energy by 2030 will greatly reduce our carbon emissions, NSW also needs further action to ensure a total reduction to net zero emissions, which we believe can be achieved by 2040.

NSW was the first place in the world to put a price on carbon, with a scheme that ran began in 2003 – but the O’Farrell Liberal government scrapped the scheme in 2012. The Greens believe it is time to bring back price a on greenhouse gases.

The Greens plan to put a price on carbon will deliver net zero emissions by 2040 and includes a roadmap for how this will be achieved. We will:

  • Use the Load Based Licensing Scheme to set a state-based price on carbon;
  • Set a two-year fixed price of $30/tonne for large industrial emitters;
  • Transition to an economy-wide emissions trading scheme after two years; and
  • Ensure money raised will help households reduce electricity bills and industry transition.

 

 

Transition from coail

Supporting communities to transition from coal

The Greens have a ten-year transition plan to support people working in fossil fuel industries, which are already in decline and will be further impacted by a transition to renewables.

The transition to 100% renewable energy provides incredible opportunities, and The Greens will be proactive in supporting these communities. We will not let these communities be forgotten and will never leave them behind.

Supporting the transition to renewables in regional communities

The NSW Government currently receives more than $1.5 billion in royalties from the coal sector each year. The Greens will use these funds to support the just transition of workers currently employed in the coal sector.

The Greens will invest a minimum of 20% of all annual fossil fuel royalties directly into a Coal Community and Environmental Trust. The Trust will rebuild and restore the environment, and the economies of coal communities.

It is expected the Coal Community and Environmental Trust will provide up to $1.8 billion in investment over the period to 2030, supporting the re-skilling of workers and the establishment of new modern industries.

Investment decisions from the Trust will be made in partnership with local councils in coal community regions but will focus on:

  • Direct investment in regional TAFE campuses in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and the Illawarra region,  with a focus on fee-free green technology and environmental restoration courses;

  • A rewilding program to deliver large scale reforestation in the Hunter Valley to restore some of the direct environmental damage caused by more than a century of coal mining;

  • A commitment to new public jobs in education, environmental management and renewable energy in coal communities to replace and improve on the jobs lost with the end of coal; and

  • A regional industries incentive scheme to expand existing successful agricultural, tourism and technology industries in coal communities.

 

 

See our full plan for NSW

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