NSW Labor promises big on renewable energy

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley wants to make NSW a global leader of the clean energy industry.
NSW Labor leader Michael Daley wants to make NSW a global leader of the clean energy industry.

Labor is promising to rollout enough renewable energy to power more than three million homes across NSW by 2030 with guaranteed pricing under a plan that is being labelled a "game-changer" by environmental groups

Five weeks out from the state election, Opposition Leader Michael Daley on Monday pledged to deliver seven gigawatts of "clean" energy over the next decade and create a new state-owned power company.

Most of that - four gigawatts - is being promised in Labor's first term of government, if elected in March.

"I want to make NSW a global leader of the clean energy industry. I want NSW workers and families to reap the benefits," Mr Daley said in a statement.

Labor expects to raise about $9.5 billion through reverse auctions, which it claims will drive down the price of building new renewable energy sources and reduce the price of electricity.

"It will lead to cleaner and more secure energy and ultimately deliver lower power prices for households," Labor's energy spokesman Adam Searle said.

But NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said Labor's plan was a recipe for market uncertainty.

"Labor needs to come clean on what this would cost NSW taxpayers and the impact it would have on existing generators in NSW," Mr Perrottet said in a statement.

The Smart Energy Council said it was an "absolute game-changer".

"We are facing a climate change emergency and we need to do whatever we can to shift NSW's energy network to renewable energy," chief executive John Grimes said in a statement.

Both Greenpeace and the Nature Conservation Council also welcomed the announcement.

Meanwhile, Energy Networks Australia, a national body representing gas distribution and electricity transmission, said Labor's lack of consideration of the impact on the grid was a concern.

Chief executive Andrew Dillon said the political commitments announced as part of the election campaign had so far contained scant information.

Australian Associated Press