Independent NSW MP Justin Field has called on the NSW Government to release the details of the subsidy deal with Energy Australia to build a new gas-fired power station in the Illawarra.
Energy Australia and the NSW Government today announced a deal had been struck to build a new gas / hydrogen-fired power station in the Illawarra after its approval by the NSW Planning Department in 2020. As part of the deal, all scope 1 emissions (the emissions released from burning gas) will be required to be offset and Energy Australia has agreed to “offer to buy” Green hydrogen to meet 5% of the fuel needs for the power station by 2025.
Independent NSW MP Justin Field said, “let’s be clear about this, the Government and Energy Australia can try to dress this up as a ‘green’ power station, but this is a direct subsidy from the NSW Government for a corporation to build a new fossil fuel power station.”
“Energy Australia will be seeking to make a profit from this predominantly gas-fired power station while the taxpayer is on the hook to the tune of $83 million to reduce its environmental footprint.
“There is plenty of evidence to show that NSW could bridge the gap left by the closure of Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley with renewable energy. New gas-fired power is not needed and the fact that Energy Australia wouldn’t build this plant without the Government tipping in money is evidence of that.
“I’m not opposed to public investment in energy infrastructure and welcome the investment in the Illawarra, but the Government has to show how this is value for money for the taxpayer and why this money wasn’t put directly into green energy options, or seeking to offset existing emissions rather than new ones.
“I want to see the details of the deal, where the money is coming from and how this was the best investment to reduce emissions from electricity generation in NSW.
“Using renewable energy to make Green hydrogen to then burn to produce electricity makes no sense at all.
“This deal does nothing to get NSW closer to a net zero by 2050 target, as the emissions it will offset are new additional emissions.