Australia to Spend $5.2 Billion on Renewable-Power Grid UpgradeDec 20, 2022 by Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) -- The Australian federal and New South Wales state governments will spend A$7.8 billion ($5.2 billion) on new electricity transmission to support more renewable power, as they rush to fill a looming energy shortage left by closing coal-fired plants.
The funding will plug eight new renewable energy zones into the power grid across New South Wales, the governments said in a joint statement Wednesday. It will also connect the federal government’s pumped-hydro project, Snowy 2.0, designed to provide back up power during lulls when wind and sun fail to meet demand.
Australia is undergoing one of the fastest transitions to a renewable-dominated grid in the world, forced by the closure of most coal-fired plants by the middle of next decade. The situation in New South Wales is particularly urgent as one of its key power providers, Liddell, is due to shut next year.
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The nation still relies on coal for nearly 60% of its power, but the government wants renewables to supply 82% of total generation by 2030. New transmission lines are key to meeting this target, and the government went to the May election promising to spend A$20 billion “rewiring” the country.
Of the A$7.8 billion, A$4.7 billion will come from the federal government and A$3.1 billion from the center-right New South Wales government.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in the statement the funding would “help transform Australia into a renewable energy superpower.”
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