New South Wales Goes Against the Grain in Ramping Up Renewable Energy Efforts
New South Wales wants to be “Australia’s answer to California.”
In accelerating its use of renewable energy and searching for better waste management practices, New South Wales is at odds with much of the Australian government. The Baird government hopes deploying small-scale solar projects will pave the way for larger-scale wind farms.
This renewable energy push comes shortly after the Abbott government is axing the carbon price and reducing the country’s renewable energy target.
Despite this, New South Wales is looking to meet the same renewable energy target as California, which means 33 percent of its total energy usage would need to come from renewable sources. Australia’s current target is 20 percent.
It could be a difficult goal to meet, with renewable energy development essentially stalling in Australia. In the first half of 2014, only $40 has been spent on renewable energy, as opposed to the $2.67 billion spent in 2013. That’s a 98.5 percent decrease from the previous year.
Energy companies have expressed their disdain for Australia’s current energy policy and have said they will abandon the country if the renewable energy target is jettisoned, which is in danger of happening.
The Energy Efficiency Council is putting its support behind New South Wales’ leadership.
“Other governments around Australia should watch what NSW is doing and follow its lead,” chief executive Rob Murray-Leach said.
New South Wales also has support from Maverick MP Clive Palmer, who is using his party’s leverage in the Australian senate to block any attacks on the renewable energy target.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.