The coal industry is calling for the NSW Government to establish a clear strategy for energy generation and greater emphasis on developing low emissions technology to provide certainty for industry investment and government planning over the next 25 years.
Coal-fired power is the principal source of base-load electricity in the National Energy Market and accounts for 89% of electricity generation in NSW. While there will be growth in other energy generation such as gas and solar or wind, Federal Government modelling shows that coal will still be the largest single source of power in NSW in 2034-35.
ACA Chief Executive, Dr Nikki Williams, welcomed the inquiry as crucial for helping to set a clear direction for electricity generation in NSW.
“There are no easy solutions when it comes to meeting future electricity needs. Coal plays an important role in powering the NSW economy now and in the future,” Dr Williams said.
“We recognise the need to minimise emissions from coal and gas-fired power and that is why the coal industry is voluntarily investing $1 billion in developing low emissions technology like carbon capture and storage.”
“The industry is already partnering with the NSW Government to find potential carbon storage locations and we have a carbon capture project underway on the NSW Central Coast. However, this work needs to be enhanced so that NSW can realise its potential as a leader in commercialising this technology for coal and gas. Coal Innovation NSW is well placed to drive this work.”
NSW Minerals Council Chief Executive, Stephen Galilee, welcomed the NSW Government’s efforts to increase public confidence in the industry and minimise unwarranted concerns through its new Strategic Regional Land Use Plans.
The joint submission suggests the NSW Public Accounts Committee recognise that coal remains the most competitive baseload power option for NSW and only its continued use will help to ameliorate projected electricity price increases.