What’s happened?

On 7 September 2012 the NSW Government released its Draft NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan, which sets out 28 ‘actions’ to support the achievement of the national target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.

What are the details?

The Draft Action Plan details the opportunities and actions underway for each of the renewable technologies in NSW, being bioenergy, hybrids, hydro, wave and tidal, solar, geothermal and wind. The Commonwealth has established a $10 billion commercially orientated Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to be located in Sydney, to support green energy projects and the NSW Government will seek to attract a large portion of this investment in renewable energy in NSW.

The Draft Action Plan has four over arching aims in order to efficiently grow renewable energy:

Attract renewable energy investment and projects

This will be achieved by improving network connections, streamlining the renewable energy planning process, promoting investment opportunities, establishing an ‘energy-from-waste’ policy and annually requesting the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to come up with a ‘fair’ tariff price for small scale generated solar energy.

Build community support

Community support for renewable energy will be built by developing new planning guidelines for wind energy projects, supporting ‘community-owned’ renewable energy projects and facilitating community partnerships.

Attract and grow renewable energy expertise

The NSW Government will encourage research and development in dedicated hubs across the State and promote NSW as a world leader in renewable energy education, research and innovation. The NSW Government will also investigate opportunities to support renewable energy demonstration projects within new residential and industrial development areas.

Contain customer costs through energy efficiency

A new strategy for energy efficiency will be released which involves a review of all current energy efficiency programs and improving standards of energy efficiency in buildings and appliances.

Next Steps

The public may make submissions on the Draft Action Plan or participate in an online forum (details below)1 up to 26 October 2012.