Under a new plan by the NSW Greens, consumers of electricity will get a chance to buy and sell clean energy in an attempt to hasten the transition to renewables. The launch of the plan came as the NSW Premier stated that he may move to try privatise the electricity assets.
The NSW Greens have launched a plan to make households and small businesses “critical players” in the state’s transition to 100 per cent renewables, trading rooftop solar and other renewable power sources across a publicly-owned network.
Launched on Monday, the $850 million plan – which aims to achieve cheaper and more stable electricity prices and to eliminate power sector emissions – is based around the creation of public sector Energy Service Agencies.
According to Greens NSW MP John Kaye, the $750 million agencies would provide financial and technical support to households and small business to facilitate the shift from coal and gas to renewables like rooftop solar, as well as energy efficient equipment and intelligent energy trading and management.
The plan also calls for investment in a “smart grid” that would allow NSW households and businesses to buy and sell clean energy, including roof top solar and regional and state-wide wind power.
And as Premier Mike Baird’s plan to privatise NSW’s power assets rapidly loses voter support http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/support-falling-for-mike-bairds-electricity-privatisation-plan-despite-20-billion-infrastructure-promise-20150209-139iqh.html, the Greens plan would also have the state’s wires and poles remain in public hands – to boost the transition to a grid focused on renewable energy and local energy trading.
“Households and small businesses would no longer be passive consumers of electricity,” Kaye said in a media release on Monday.
“Instead they would become active participants in the electricity industry, trading roof top solar electricity and other renewable sources across a publicly-owned network. This will enable them to manage their use to minimise their costs and assist the network transition to clean energy sources.”
The NSW Greens’ plan to shift the state to 100 per cent renewables – a plan it says would help position NSW as a world-leader in clean energy – includes a timetable to phase out the state’s coal-fired generators.
The party estimates such an energy transition would bring more than 70,000 new jobs to the state and serve as a platform for the development of an export-oriented manufacturing and services industry.
“Transformation of the state’s energy industry is inevitable,” said Kay in a statement on Monday.
“There are massive economic, environmental and social benefits of doing it early and ensuring that households can benefit from becoming active participants in the clean technology future.
“This will reduce the need for massive investment in new power lines while increasing opportunities for central station renewable energy sources like solar thermal and wind.
“The next generation of jobs will only become a reality if this state starts the transition now and gets ahead of the rest of the world.
“Households will be critical players in efforts to transition to 100% renewable energy in NSW.
“That’s why the Greens would create new public sector energy service agencies. We believe families need an ally they can trust as they make the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
“Public control over the distribution and transmission network is also essential to creating the clean energy future,” Kay said.
“Premier Mike Baird’s plans will to pass control of much of the electricity network to private hands would create political and financial barriers to the remaking of the network.”