The NSW government secretive plan with Origin Energy to extend the life of one of Australia’s dirtiest old coal-fired power plants, Eraring, is a huge step backward for climate action in Australia.

The fastest and most affordable way to ensure reliability in Australia’s most populated state is to fast-track the rollout of renewables with big batteries.

“Now is not the time for a two year delay, it’s the opposite – the Minns government must speed up the renewables transition and not fallback on unreliable coal clunkers like Eraring,” ACF national climate policy advisor Annika Reynolds (they/them) said.

“Eraring is the largest coal-fired power plant in Australia. It contributes almost 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions and just last year, the mercury pollution rose by 130% which is bad for local health.

“Beleaguered and dirty fossil fuel infrastructure like Eraring has no future in the dynamic, clean energy grid that the government promised the people of NSW. This is a step backward, undermining the government’s 50% by 2030 emissions reduction target.”

“Instead of wasting taxpayer money on Eraring, the NSW government should be increasing the installation rates of rooftop solar and batteries in our homes.

“Summers in NSW are now characterised by unprecedented floods, heatwaves or deadly fires and this extreme weather is exacerbated by extending the life of fossil fuels like coal.

“It is positive to see the Minns government commit $8.4 million to accelerate big battery connections but it is a pittance compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars it’ll take to prop up Eraring beyond its closure date.”

 

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