Featured image: Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman at the site of a tower installation on the EnergyConnect project. Image courtesy of Transgrid. 

New South Wales Treasurer, Daniel Mookhey, has delivered the new New South Wales Government’s 2023–24 Budget, investing a total of $3.9 billion into the state’s clean energy future, as it transitions towards renewable energy. 

The NSW Government is committed to transitioning its energy system to meet its emissions reduction targets of 50 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050, and seizing the opportunities that this will bring to communities across the state.

This Budget is expected to allow the government to get the Energy Roadmap back on track after 12 years of privatisation, cost overruns and delays. 

New South Wales’ transition to renewable energy will benefit from $1.8 billion to transmit and store energy across the state.

The budget has allocated $1 billion to establish an Energy Security Corporation to invest in storage and firming projects like pumped hydro and address gaps in the market. 

Projects could include community batteries and virtual power plants that will allow households and communities to pool electricity generated from rooftop solar, reducing their reliance on the grid and cutting their power bills.

A further $804 million is being committed to the Transmission Acceleration Facility to connect Renewable Energy Zones to the grid sooner, while bringing forward benefits to the communities who host these renewable power stations of the future.

In addition to large-scale infrastructure, the Budget will help ease rising cost-of-living pressures for those who need it most. In partnership with the Australian Government, $1.3 billion is being committed in 2023–24 to provide energy rebates and targeted energy bill relief to up to 1.6 million eligible households and around 300,000 eligible small businesses. 

The New South Wales Government is also committing a further $100 million to support families and households with their energy bills throughout 2024 and 2025. To boost net zero manufacturing, $480 million is being provided to ensure New South Wales workers, small businesses and industries receive the enormous benefits from the transition to renewables. Local manufacturing capacity and capability for delivering critical components for the state’s emerging renewable energy sector will be expanded.

The New South Wales Government will also help businesses manufacture low carbon products at scale. This has the potential to decarbonise New South Wales industries and support the growing domestic circular economy.

Regional communities will receive $350 million for a new Regional Development Trust Fund to improve local amenities, social cohesion and job opportunities.

An additional $263 million is being invested to increase electric vehicle (EV) uptake in New South Wales and help the state achieve its net zero emissions targets. A new state EV Strategy will prioritise charging infrastructure in regional and metropolitan areas, to ensure our state is ready for more EVs to hit the road.

The scrapping of a project to raise the wall of the Wyangala dam at Cowra in the Central West was among some of the budget cuts announced prior to the official release.

Industry Comments:

Transgrid has welcomed the New South Wales’ Government commitment of $3.9 billion to fast track the state’s renewable energy future as part of the 2023–24 Budget.

Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, said “Transgrid shares the bold ambition of our communities and governments to drive down energy costs and deliver a clean, sustainable and reliable energy future.

“Over the next decade, Transgrid will invest $16.5 billion in New South Wales to build 2,500km of essential transmission infrastructure to connect renewable generation to the grid.

“We need to build the energy superhighways that will help disperse clean energy from where it is generated to the homes, businesses and industries where it is needed.

“Modelling shows every one dollar spent on transmission is projected to return more than two dollars in benefits to consumers and communities.

“Transgrid welcomes today’s significant clean energy investment including $1 billion to establish the Energy Security Corporation to drive investment in stable and affordable renewable energy and $804 million for the Transmission Acceleration Facility to connect Renewable Energy Zones to the grid sooner,” Mr Redman said. 

“We are proud to be a key partner in delivering the New South Wales Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap to bring clean, cheap and reliable energy to millions of households and businesses, achieve our emissions reduction targets, and ensure the state becomes a global renewable energy leader.

“I congratulate Premier, Chris Minns, and Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Penny Sharpe, for recognising the urgent need for investment to accelerate our renewable energy transition and keep the lights on when coal generation retires from the New South Wales power system.”

Featured image: Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman at the site of a tower installation on the EnergyConnect project. Image courtesy of Transgrid. 

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