Early priorities for the NSW Government on its election in March 2011 were the convening of two Solar Summits and the appointment of the Hon Rob Stokes as Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy. A Solar and Renewable Energy Action Plan will be prepared based on the outcomes of the NSW Solar and Renewable Energy Summit. The NSW Government is committed to building a prosperous and sustainable sector in NSW that will contribute to meeting Australia's 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.
Renewable energy programs
Milestones to date
In 2009, energy consumed in NSW from renewable energy sources reached 7%, an increase of 1.1% since 2008.
Renewable energy generation from solar and wind power has increased almost five-fold in the past eight years.
In 2009, renewable energy sources other than the Snowy Hydro Scheme accounted for around 5% of consumption, up from 1% in 2001.
, a national voluntary program established by the NSW Government, continues to grow strongly with a 10% increase in consumption from this program in the 12 months to December 2009. At this time more than 191,900 homes and over 12,800 businesses were voluntarily purchasing GreenPower in NSW.
'NSW 2021 - A Plan to make NSW number one' commits NSW to achieving 20% renewable energy by 2020 in light of the Australian Government’s expanded Renewable Energy Target.
Renewable energy programs managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage
Renewable Energy Development Program: This Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) scheme is funding projects that employ innovative renewable energy technologies.
Renewable Energy Precincts: Six precincts have been established in areas where significant future renewable energy development is expected, especially wind farms. The aim is to give local communities a voice and a stake in a growing energy sector. An adjunct to the program has been the development of a range of Renewable Energy Precinct resources.
Moree Solar Farm: In June 2011 the Moree Solar Farm consortium won funding in Round 1 of the Australian Governments Solar Flagships Program to build one of the world's largest solar photovoltaic power plants - a 150 MW photovoltaic plant near Moree, northern NSW. Moree Solar Farm will also receive up to $120 million in funding from the NSW Government. Further information is available in the Ministerial media release, and on OEH's Solar Flagship web-page.
A number of public organisations have received funding for renewable energy related projects under the Public Facilities Demonstration project stream of the Climate Change Fund.
Hot water system rebate: Water heating is the biggest energy user in NSW homes. Switching from an electric to a climate-friendly hot water system can save an average of 2.5 tonnes of carbon pollution each year and up to $300 in power bills. Please note that the NSW Home Saver Rebates program has ended as scheduled on 30 June 2011. NSW households may still be eligible for a rebate if they have purchased and installed eligible items on or before 30 June 2011 and the completed application form is received by the OEH no later than 5pm, 30 September 2011. Applications received more than six months after installation or after 5pm, 30 September 2011 will not be eligible for a rebate.
Water and Energy Savings Funds are providing grants from the Climate Change Fund for alternative power generation projects.
Programs and resources managed by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (formerly Industry & Investment NSW)
The department's Solar Bonus Scheme provides feed-in tariff support for small-scale renewable energy generators. Find out more: frequently asked questions
GreenPower gives electricity purchasers an opportunity to buy power generated from accredited renewable resources, such as the sun, wind, landfills and biogas.
Bio-energy research: The department's primary industries research team is working with a number of research partners to quantify the sustainable level of biomass resources available in NSW for bio-energy uses.
The Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services website provides an overview of renewable energy in NSW, including information about wind and solar power and bio-energy. It also lists major existing and proposed power stations larger than 30 MW of installed capacity (including those run on renewable energy).
Programs and resources managed by the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure
Planning for Renewable Energy is streamlining planning approvals for renewable energy, both small-scale and large-scale systems.
The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) sets performance standards for homes that are designed to use less potable water and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions through energy and water saving targets.
The Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036 released in December 2010 includes a chapter on climate change and actions to encourage uptake of renewable and distributed energy.
Page last updated: 20 October 2011