The Australia Institute has released its NSW Gas and Coal Watch analysis as part of their Climate Energy Program. Alarmingly, it found the state suffered 27 power plant breakdowns in 2018. This equates to a breakdown every fortnight for NSW energy customers.
Report Highlights Problems with NSW Energy Services
The Australia Institute’s report made the following key findings:
- NSW gas & coal fired power stations failed 27 times during 2018 – more than once every fortnight.
- Each coal power station in NSW suffered at least one breakdown.
- The aging Liddell power station topped the list with 11 breakdowns. Similarly, Vales Point power station had 5 breakdowns.
- The new and supposedly ‘state of the art’ Tallawarra gas power station had three breakdowns in 2018
- During the June energy crisis in 2018, over half of NSW’s coal and gas generators were offline. As a result, wholesale electricity prices jumped to around $2400 per MWh five times in just one week.
Australia Institute’s Message for NSW Energy Industry
Rod Campbell, Research Director at the Australia Institute has given a clear message that policy makers need to respond to the challenge of transitioning to a cleaner, more reliable and cheaper power supply for NSW residents.
Mr Campbell says much of the problem is due to NSW’s aging gas and coal fired power plants. He calls them a threat to the reliability of the state’s energy system.
“Every time gas or coal generators break down, hundreds of megawatts of capacity are instantaneously removed from the grid without warning. This puts undue pressure on the electricity system, risking blackouts and pushing up power prices,” said Mr Campbell.
Consequently, his message to the Government was clear.
“NSW lags behind the country, and much of the world, is in the transition to clean energy. As a result, the state has some serious catching up to do and addressing the unreliability of gas and coal fired power will be one of the first challenges.”
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