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Energy, Government NSW

Eraring extension means more climate pollution and uncertainty for workers and investors

CMC 3 mins read

The New South Wales Government has made the much anticipated announcement that it will extend the operational life of the Hunter Valley’s Eraring coal-fired power station amid concerns about shortfalls in the energy grid.

 

Community, business and expert spokespeople available below are calling on all state and federal governments to ensure that this is the last coal clunker to keep polluting beyond its agreed lifespan. They’re urging governments to boost large and small renewables, transmission lines, and energy storage, and support coal workers, to make sure other power stations like Callide B in Queensland and Yallourn in Victoria close on time (2028).

 

To arrange interviews, please contact Climate Media Centre:

Sean Kennedy - 0447 121 378 - sean.kennedy@climatemediacentre.org.au 

 

INVESTMENT

 

Marilyne Crestias, interim CEO at Clean Energy Investor Group, has more than ten years’ experience in government and consulting, focusing primarily on the economics of energy markets, renewable energy auction design, climate change, and management of natural resources. She led the design of the largest renewable energy auction in Australia and the delivery of legislation to support the Victorian Renewable Energy Target.
Location: Melbourne, VIC.

 

"Delaying the closure of Eraring not only jeopardises our renewable energy goals but also undermines efforts to combat climate change and secure a sustainable energy future.

 

“The extension of the Eraring power station cannot set a precedent for other coal-fired power stations to be extended, and the NSW Government must make that clear to the investors who stand ready to finance the NSW energy transition.”

 

ENERGY ANALYST

 

Stephanie Bashir, Principal of Nexa Advisory

Stephanie is an energy expert with more than 20 years’ experience. She previously led the policy vision and strategy at AGL Energy as Senior Director of Public Policy. 

Location: Melbourne

 

“It is disappointing to see the extension of Eraring from the NSW Government. Keeping this coal-fired power station open jeopardises our emission reduction targets and imposes unnecessary costs on energy consumers. But the New South Wales Government has left themselves no choice. 

 

“Rather than focusing their efforts on extending an old, unreliable coal-fired power station, the New South Wales Government should be focusing on practical solutions which remain untapped and can help address forecasted reliability gaps.

 

“The New South Wales Government should be accelerating demand response measures, leveraging the potential 1.1GW of demand-side management from Commercial and Industrial consumers, as well as residential consumer energy uptake. 

 

“These practical solutions are not only actionable before 2025, but also provide New South Wales with additional insurance against extreme weather and electricity reliability events which will become more common whether Eraring is extended or not.  

 

“The Federal and State Government must also prioritise and streamline planning, approving and connecting new renewable generation, storage and transmission projects. 

 

“Nexa Advisory’s recent analysis reveals that energy consumers in New South Wales are set to pay an extra $106 each per year by 2027 than they would if the state government had enabled a faster, orderly rollout of renewable energy generation and storage. But that’s not all — New South Wales taxpayers will be paying the cost of $120-150m a year to Origin Energy to keep Eraring open.”

 

JOB SECURITY 

 

Justin Page, Coordinator, Hunter Jobs Alliance 

The Hunter Jobs Alliance (nine unions and four environment group affiliates) supports growth and investment in renewable energy in the Hunter. With the right Government Policy and Framework settings we have the opportunity to maximise local content, mitigate environmental impacts and provide community benefits to the Hunter region. Justin has extensive experience in leading and developing strategy, marketing, governance and stakeholder engagement within member focused organisations and has practical knowledge of government policy and industrial relations. Justin was previously Secretary of the Electrical Trade Union NSW & ACT. 

Location: Newcastle

 

“The 2025 closure for Eraring has been earmarked for some time, and local workers have been waiting in earnest for guaranteed job protections during the transition, yet the Net Zero Authority legislation has not passed parliament and NSW Transition Authority still don’t have any formal framework for hundreds of workers both at Eraring power station and at the mines which supply coal to the power station. 

 

“NSW are dragging the chain both in the energy transition and the employment framework required to ensure no one is left behind, and extending Eraring is only going to make matters worse. With the Hunter’s workforce and manufacturing capabilities we are a key region for industrial and employment growth in the energy transition economy, but our governments can’t keep sitting on their hands and being reactive in their decision making; the hard-working people of the Hunter deserve better than that.”


Contact details:

Climate Media Centre:

Sean Kennedy - 0447 121 378 - sean.kennedy@climatemediacentre.org.au

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