NSW draft plan supports national renewable energy target
Posted : Thursday, November 01, 2012
Discussing NSW Government's Draft Renewable Action
Plan, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable
Energy, Dr Rob Stokes told a CEDA audience in Sydney that
one of the main objectives of the plan is to support the national
target of increasing renewable energy to 20 per cent by 2020.
"We want to ensure that as much of the investment in renewable
energy as possible is returned to benefit citizens of NSW," he
He said Australia is seeing an energy transformation that is
inevitable and revolutionary.
"There is a changing energy mix in Australia. A decade ago 85
per cent of stationary energy production was from coal, today it's
about 75 per cent," he said.
"The role of gas has doubled to 15 per cent and renewables
(excluding hydro) has increased by a factor of 10."
Although hydro has traditionally formed the basis of renewable
energy generation in NSW, non-hydro energy has increased by 43 per
cent, he said.
"We are a Pandora's box. We have a lot of everything in NSW. The
challenge is we have so many choices," he said.
"When we look over time at cost structures, solar thermal and
solar photovoltaic (PV) are set to decline dramatically.
"We are keen to promote the deployment and large range of
renewables because we believe in the long term, solar PV, solar
thermal and others will have an enormous capacity."
He said the deployment of renewable energy will be matched with
an increase in energy efficiency resulting in lower costs to
To attract renewable energy investment, he said the following
actions would take place:
- The introduction of a Renewable Energy Advocate within the NSW
Government to facilitate investment and resolve barriers; and
- Government to work with network operators to overcome
He also said the Draft Renewable Energy Target
(RET) discussion paper, released by the Climate Change Authority on
Friday 26 October 2012, will assist in creating jobs in regional
and rural NSW and the Government will actively engage with the
community throughout the implementation of the plan.
"We run on a platform of engaging with local community and
returning the local planning powers to the local community. We are
very keen to engage early and effectively in community
consultation," he said.
He said precinct coordinators will work with the community to
explain the benefits and costs of renewable energy generation.
On attracting and growing renewable energy expertise, Dr Stokes
said the Government has identified hubs for the research and
development of renewable energy, including at the University of New
England, the University of Newcastle and the University of
Climate Change Authority, CEO, Anthea Harris
said the most controversial draft recommendation in preparing the
RET discussion paper was the issue of targets.
She said as the RET discussion paper was based on consultations
and submissions, several views on targets were discussed for the
large-scale renewable energy target (LRET) and the small-scale
renewable energy scheme (SRES).
From these consultations and submissions, Ms Harris outlined
some of the following recommendations:
- The LRET should be left unchanged to promote sustainability and
confidence and will not be increased;
- Floating the target would be detrimental; and
- The SRES will remain as a separate scheme.
She said the draft recommendations of the RET were based on the
following four objectives:
- Increasing confidence in and predictability of the scheme;
- Providing flexibility and choice;
- Managing overall costs and delivering equitable outcomes;
- Streamlining administration and compliance costs.
The Climate Change Authority was established on 1 July 2012 and
provides independent advice on the carbon price, emissions,
reduction targets, caps and trajectories, and other Australian
Government climate change initiatives.
The Climate Change Authority welcomes feedback on the
Draft Renewable Energy Target discussion paper
from the business and government community by 14 November 2012.
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