Low Carbon Future - Hunter Blueprint
It is inevitable that there will eventually be a price on carbon emissions and new rules for trading emission permits. The region’s coal industry is already preparing for the changes with the private sector investing $40 million in clean coal technology.
The Hunter currently produces about 15 per cent of the electricity needed in Eastern Australia. Achieving substantial cuts in emissions, while responding to increased demand, will present major challenges.
There are encouraging coal seam gas resources, which if commercialised to a sufficient scale, could offer support to electricity and manufacturing in the Hunter and contribute to exports of liquefied natural gas.
The State Government has also approved plans for a $190 million wind and solar farm in the Upper Hunter that could power up to 50,000 homes.
Private sector efforts, together with local and government initiatives, position the Hunter well to play a leadership role in Australia’s energy future. Key players include the CSIRO Clean Energy Technology Centre, Macquarie Generation and the growing number of partnerships between industry, government and researchers.
RDA Hunter welcomed the preparation of the Blueprint for a Low Carbon Future for the Hunter Region by NSW Industry & Investment.
A leading priority for RDA Hunter in 2011 will be to encourage further research, development and investment in renewable energy technology and the blueprint will provide a basis for these considerations.