NSW Power Stations Dismiss Renewable Energy
Two new fossil fuel power plants that will increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 5 and 15 per cent will move a step closer to construction this week after developers claimed renewable energy cannot feed a growing hunger for electricity.
The carbon emissions from the power stations, which would be added to existing plants at Mount Piper near Lithgow and Bayswater in the Hunter Valley, would equal a doubling of the number of cars on NSW roads.
But the two government-owned developers, Delta Electricity and Macquarie Generation, say they are essential to meet demand and replace older, less efficient coal-fired generators.
Their responses to public submissions dismiss the idea of investing in solar or wind power instead. Macquarie Generation says NSW will have trouble meeting the national 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 because ”other states have better renewable resources”.
The key decision facing the utilities is whether to run the two, 1000-megawatt plants on coal or gas. Burning gas generates slightly less than half the emissions of coal, but is likely to be more expensive and would require the construction of a pipeline to Mount Piper.
The NSW Greens believe the need for new sources of baseload power have been overestimated.