NSW election energy policies: Labor, Coalition and Greens platforms for renewable energy reform

A new solar farm in NSW Riverina is part of a large-scale solar boom across Australia.

The NSW election is this Saturday, March 23, and the race is still too close to call. Energy is a hot topic, and the key parties have made big pledges about energy reform should they win office. In this article we examine the NSW election energy policies put forward by the major parties.

With the possibility of a hung parliament and/or minority government, attention should also be paid to the policies of the minor parties, such as Sustainable Australia; Shooters, Fishers and Farmers; One Nation and the Australian Conservatives. They may do deals with the eventual governing party that may influence the actual energy policies implemented.

NSW election energy policies

In the lead-up to voting day, here are the major promises made by the NSW Coalition, Labor and the Greens.

Coalition: Powering homes with solar

Central to the Coalition’s energy reform promises is solar power and home batteries. Premier Berejiklian’s $3.2 billion Empowering Homes program will offer 300,000 households no-interest loans of up to $14,000. Those loans will be used to install solar and battery systems.

More affordable residential solar: a big election promise from the Coalition.

The scheme will roll out over the course of a decade. Once up and running, the additional home storage batteries will provide the state energy system with an extra 3,000 MWh of storage.

The coalition is playing catch-up with its NSW election energy policies. Over the past eight years in Government, they have been very quiet on climate change and renewable energy.

Labor: Long-term energy reform targets

Labor’s energy reform plan will add 7 GW to the grid and power up to three million homes by 2030. Core to this is the creation of a state-owned renewable energy company.

Following a similar scheme in Victoria, NSW Labor believes it can raise $9.5 billion through tenders and long-term contracts, which will fund the project.

Solar panel installation is also a big pledge. Labor will offer rebates up to $2,200 for residential installations and also invest $10 million for electric car-charging stations.

Its renewable energy target is 50 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.

The Greens: A regional renewables plan 

Four regional hubs are core to the Greens’ renewables plan. A publicly owned energy company, called PowerNSW, will supply and sell electricity to the state. The goal is to make NSW fully reliant on renewable energy by 2030.

It’s part of their $5 billion Regional Clean Infrastructure investment, which will also create jobs and manage climate change.

The Greens also plan to kill off thermal coal by 2030, making it illegal to mine, burn or export it. And a new carbon price will help them reach zero emissions by 2040.

Apparently the Greens have the most radical, accelerated and far-reaching NSW election energy policies..

Renewables is the big winner

Whichever party wins the election on Saturday, the real winner will be NSW residents. With renewables a key weapon in every major party’s arsenal, the cost of installing solar panels and home batteries will become more affordable.