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NSW releases Renewable Energy Action Plan

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New South Wales is following building upon its impressive Energy Efficiency Action Plan with a new initiative aimed at increasing the state's share of clean energy.

The new Renewable Energy Action Plan was announced on September 7 and a draft was released  by Energy Minister Chris Hartcher and the Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy, Rob Stokes.

The plan is made up of 28 actions that will drive NSW towards the target of 20 per cent renewable energy by the year 2020. It will make renewable investment in the state a priority and will build on local knowledge and expertise in the sector. The state already has a considerable reputation for large-scale solar projects as well as rooftop systems.

"NSW is well positioned to lead the way and we are already home to world class research and development projects. NSW is also set to host the AGL-led Solar Flagships project that will see almost 160MW of large scale solar generation built at Broken Hill and Nyngan," said Mr Hartcher.

"Securing the Solar Flagships project demonstrates NSW is an attractive place to invest and has the right business settings. The Renewable Energy Action Plan will help us to continue attracting other renewable developments."

Mr Hartcher reassured the public that only projects with the best value for money will be implemented, meaning that there will be no cost to consumers, acknowledging that Australians are struggling with rising electricity prices. Instead, there will be the advantage of new investment and jobs.

The Renewable Energy Action Plan is slated to make some significant savings. It will help to avoid around $2.8 billion in electricity costs, paired with yearly energy savings of 16,000 Gwh by 2020.

Details of the Plan

The Renewable Energy Action plan was created in collaboration with a joint industry and government Renewable Energy Taskforce.

It took into account feedback from the NSW Solar Summit 2012, and will now take into account any feedback from the community submitted or discussed on the official online forum.

Some of the specific 28 goals that are involved in the plan include supporting mid-scale solar PV to enable uptake of the most cost effective solar technologies and conducting renewable energy research roundtables.

As well as this, it will facilitate community ownership of five renewable energy projects and continue to support research and deployment of smart grid technologies, amongst many other goals.

Posted by Charlie Moore