NSW Election – Direct Pitch to Industry – NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean MP
What will be the critical energy developments in NSW during the next term of office and beyond that to 2030? What is your number 1 energy priority?
The biggest energy developments in the next term of office and beyond will be driven by the Liberal Nationals Government’s long term plan to transform our energy system, the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. Construction will get underway on the Roadmap’s Renewable Energy Zones, modern day power stations that co-locate transmission, renewable generation and storage infrastructure. The Roadmap will coordinate the delivery of key energy infrastructure ahead of the withdrawal of our coal-fired power stations as they come to the end of their technical lives. That includes 12 gigawatts of renewable generation and 2 gigawatts of long duration storage by 2030, as well as the Waratah Super Battery, the largest committed battery in the Southern hemisphere which will be online by 2025, and 380MW of new firming capacity.
All of those projects are in service of my number one energy priority: securing some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable electricity anywhere in the world for NSW consumers and businesses.
How will customers benefit from your election commitments?
Under a re-elected Liberal Nationals Government, each and every household in NSW will receive $250 off their energy bills from 1 July simply for shopping around for a better deal. That could help them unlock further savings of up to $400 off their bills. However, the Labor party has already confirmed that they will cut those rebates for around 1.5 million households across our State.
In the longer-term, we will fast track the transformation of the NSW electricity system by setting up a $1.5 billion Clean Energy Superpower Fund, to support the delivery of renewable energy storage and grid security projects, such as pumped hydro and batteries. We’ve also set aside $23 million to kick-start the expansion of the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap to cover distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and small-scale batteries and to unblock local grid constraints, allowing more people to produce and share energy locally.
What do you expect the grid to look like beyond 2030?
Beyond 2030 I expect to see a grid here in NSW with a very high penetration of renewable generation. That will include both utility-scale solar and wind farms, as well as distributed rooftop solar PV. They will be backed up by a combination of storage technologies including pumped hydro and batteries, as well as firming.
As well as laying the foundation for our efforts to reach our 70% emissions reduction target for 2035, and net zero in 2050, that grid will be capable of producing some of the cheapest electricity this state has ever seen. That not only means cheaper bills for households, but it means energy-intensive industries will have a real competitive advantage. That’s why we expect our Roadmap to unleash an industrial renaissance here in NSW, with industries like clean metals and renewable energy infrastructure manufacturing underwriting a new era of prosperity for the State.
What is your final pitch to industry ahead of the election?
The Liberal Nationals Government has a comprehensive strategy to transform our electricity system as our coal-fired generators retire, and to deliver some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable electricity anywhere in the world. Our nation-leading Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap will achieve its aims by attracting $32 billion of private investment to build the energy infrastructure of the future. However, there is no greater threat to that strategy than a Chris Minns Labor Government.
In December last year, Chris Minns signalled his plans to nationalise the NSW electricity grid. Throughout this campaign he has railed against privatisation and announced a plan to fund a public energy bureaucracy to intervene in the energy market. Chris Minns’ ideological vendetta against private investment in the NSW electricity system risks driving away the flood of private capital that our Roadmap will attract, threatening our energy security and leaving households paying more.
As our Roadmap enters its most critical phase in the next few years, we simply cannot risk the success of our energy transition with a Labor Government that is openly hostile to private investment in our grid. By contrast, the Liberal Nationals Government is determined to work with industry to secure our State’s future as a super power of the global net zero economy.