NSW has committed new funds to support the construction of wind towers, hydrogen electrolysers and battery storage as part of a strategy to cash in on cheap renewable power following the closure of its main coal fired power generators.
State treasurer and energy minister Matt Kean said a $250 million package would help ensure local companies could manufacture much of the infrastructure needed for the state’s massive transformation from coal to renewables.
“Just as Tesla redefined the motor vehicle industry, I want NSW companies to pioneer new approaches to the energy transformation right across the economy,” he said.
“NSW has some of the cheapest renewable energy in the world, which gives us a massive competitive advantage in producing clean fuels, chemicals and materials such as green steel, green ammonia and green hydrogen.”
The package come just days after the announced early closure of the biggest coal generator in the country, the 2.88GW Eraring facility, and follows a decision to fast track the roll-out of the state’s proposed renewable energy zones, and tap into the more than 135GW of wind, solar and storage on offer.
The package has been deliberately framed to counter the doomsayers and critics of the coal closure, which has been led principally by the federal Coalition government, along with remnants of the fossil fuel industry and representatives of major industrial users.
NSW says the economic opportunities from the green energy transition are enormous, and the principle target is the Hunter Valley and its proposed hydrogen hub.
Kean says it could enable the region to emerge as a green hydrogen powerhouse, although it might have some competition from other states, and other countries.
Kean is predicting an extra 500 jobs from a $250 million investment over five years for initiatives to boost locally manufactured content for the renewable energy sector such as wind towers, electrolysers and batteries.
This is in addition to previously announced initiatives that will create 500 extra jobs from the $500 million New Low Carbon Industry Foundations element, focused on green hydrogen, and 2,700 direct construction jobs associated with the fast tracked delivery of the main renewable energy zones.