I have just received, and have just read through for the first time, the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Here are my thoughts:
The Good -
- The very fact that a plan (albiet a Draft) now exists is a good thing
- A target of 20% from renewable energy is a big improvement
- Acknowledges the substantial (>10%) contribution of renewables
- Acknowledges that renewables are rapidly declining in cost
- Sets out some broad objectives for accelerated uptake
- Improving network connection ease of access features strongly
- NSW will get a Renewable Energy Advocate to help
- Submissions and feedback are invited
- Some clever and pro renewable people were on the task force
The Bad -
- Given that the NSW Government continues to argue against the RET and the Carbon Price, claiming that it is in support of renewables and that these schemes will help drive investment (in NSW) is a bit rich.
- A lot of the plan talks about “support” and “streamlining” but little detail on how and no budget is provided
- Much of the “success” and “investment” claimed by the report as being why NSW is a great place to invest is from Federal funding, eg Solar Flagships, CSIRO, the RET and The CEFC. Claiming credit for the 40 jobs in NSW at the CEFC (a Federal body) is hardly job creation by the NSW Government’s doing.
The Appalling -
Minister Hartcher, you’ll get my full submission in due time but for solar PV I find the following elements of this report nothing short of appalling:
- Next to the snowy Hydro, PV is the second largest renewable generator in NSW and its still growing despite a complete and utter lack of Government support. Despite this there is no new financial, policy or program support mentioned.
- The only activity mentioned for the massively growing residential PV sector is “Annually request IPART to estimate a benchmark range for a fair price for small-scale generated solar energy”. a) a benchmark is not mandatory and the case remains that most retailers in NSW offer ZERO for exported energy, b) the benchmark is voluntary so why would they and c)the benchmarked cost is NOT a fair or reasonable price for small scale residential solar.
In effect, in releasing this report the NSW Government has so far claimed credit for a lot of work by the Federal Government whilst criticising it at the same time, added no additional funding to support renewables, has claimed success for programs already in place and widely criticised and all the while blamed solar and wind for all manner of evils in this state.
Minister Hartcher, you have no skin in this game.
I am hoping that being a draft their might be some opportunity to deliver some real changes, real investment and real work by this Government to support renewables here, instead of claiming everyone else hard work while you undermine it.