MEDIA RELEASE: Greens condemn Eraring extension deal and capitulation on renewable rollout

23 May 2024

Following the NSW Labor government’s recently announced deal to extend the life of Eraring power station, the Greens have called on the NSW Labor government to be far more ambitious in the rollout for renewable energy.

 

Quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd, Greens NSW MP and spokesperson for Energy and Treasury:

 

“Today’s Eraring announcement should be a clarion call, an unequivocal signal that the NSW government is dragging their feet on the energy transition and has no plans to pick up the pace.

 

“Now, when the rubber needs to hit the road, the NSW Labor government are gifting potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to the mega profitable Origin energy, who recently announced $747 million in net profits in just the last six months.

 

“Labor’s Electricity Supply and Reliability Check Up report from last year, and the recent AEMO report into reliability, did not recommend extending Eraring. They said there could be potential reliability gaps if there is not a step change in ambitions, in investment and in the pace of transmission and generation roll out.

 

“We have two paths ahead of us - either we choose to keep pandering to the fossil fuel industry by keeping coal-fired power stations open longer than they need to be, or we urgently invest in publicly-owned renewables.

 

“We can’t leave the energy transition of our state to the whims of big business. Labor needs to fill the decades-long leadership void and actually start calling the shots, and spending the money, when it comes to energy policy in NSW.

 

“Labor’s announcement today is a capitulation. Waving a white flag, they have announced to the world that they have no intention of doing the work necessary to protect the climate and human health.

 

“Keeping any power station open longer is a cost-of-living and human health disaster. Not to mention the devastating climate impacts it will cause. If Eraring Power Station is extended for two years at full production of 16twh, it would contribute more than half of the emissions generated in stationary electricity that was planned for under the abatement policy as originally designed for both 2026 and 2027, and will contribute to taking us upwards of 50% further away from the legislated targets each year of operation, or around 3.5% of our total emissions budget.

 

“The open ended nature of this supposed deal with Eraring will do nothing to provide workers with any certainty, and will only serve to put a handbrake on the community-led transition projects that are being demanded by residents of the Hunter Valley.

 

“This ‘will they, won’t they’ speculation is terribly distressing and frustrating for the dedicated workers operating these power stations, who still have no transition plan for when these plants do close.

 

“What we need is a clear transition plan for closing down our coal-fired power stations, taking into account not just energy reliability, but also the quickest way to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions while still supporting workers and communities. When we look at these issues from a broader perspective, there may well be merit, for example, in bringing forward the closure date of Vales Point to before Eraring.”

 

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