FourFour two: Rural electricity administration source ABC News title 4Four Two – Rural electricity Administration article The Department of Energy is moving to replace its coal-fired power plant in rural Australia with a new generation of renewable electricity from a new source of renewable energy.
The Government announced last month it would replace the ageing 1,400-megawatt (MW) Hazelwood plant with a 3,000MW plant in South Australia, which is expected to be completed by December 2019.
The announcement was seen as an endorsement of the state’s coal-burning power plants, which have been shut for decades.
But now it appears the state has to move quickly because of a new state-owned renewable energy target, which means a new renewable energy source must be developed within 10 years.
In a submission to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on Electricity, the state said it would need to get the approval of the Commonwealth’s Energy Efficiency Target to meet the target, but it could use a range of options, including building a new nuclear power station in South Australian, and building a renewable generation in Queensland.
The Commonwealth’s target to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2030 was set by the Government in a Climate Change Action Plan in 2010.
“The new target to be established in 2019 is a very ambitious target, and it will require significant investment in our energy infrastructure, both in the long-term and the short-term,” the submission said.
The state also proposed developing the state-run National Renewable Energy Laboratory to provide advice to the Government on what the state can do to meet its renewable energy targets.
“We recognise that the National Renewal Laboratory will play an important role in ensuring that our energy systems meet the National Energy Strategy, and the State Government will work closely with the NREL to ensure the National Research Infrastructure is a viable resource to support this goal,” it said.
The state’s new generation will be in line with a recent report from the Commonwealth on renewable energy, which said it was a major renewable energy resource and had been growing rapidly in recent years.
It said that by 2025, renewable energy generation in the state would be about a third the amount it was in 2015, and that renewable energy accounted for almost a quarter of the electricity generation in Australia.
“The Government has been making investments to promote renewables for a long time and it is time to deliver on our commitments to the National Greenhouse Gas Strategy and to deliver a low carbon economy,” the Department of Environment and Energy said in a statement.