The Cessnock Advertiser's Letters to the Editor: October 7, 2020

REDEVELOPMENT: The iconic stacks at the former Hydro Aluminium site, before they were demolished in May 2019.
REDEVELOPMENT: The iconic stacks at the former Hydro Aluminium site, before they were demolished in May 2019.

GAS PLANT A 'WHITE ELEPHANT'

The Prime Minister's plan for a gas-fired power station for Kurri risks leaving us with a white elephant.

The Australian Energy Council says that there are already mechanisms in place to address any shortfall from the closure of the 1000MW Liddell power station.

So why is ScoMo going to force the taxpayers to pay for a gas-fired replacement? Who will benefit from this? Only the gas producers and the gas pipeline operator.

We have now reached the point where renewables backed up with batteries or pumped hydro are the cheapest form of new energy. Gas is not the answer.

A number of low-cost gasfields are approaching the end of their lives and will be replaced by unconventional gas, for example, coal seam gas from Narrabri.

This is inevitably more expensive to extract and will only push the gas price up further.

With a bit of foresight, the Hydro site could be set up as a renewable energy industrial precinct.

Suitable manufacturing industries would use lower-cost 100 per cent renewable energy, rather than expensive gas for process heating.

The NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean is quite clear that the clock is ticking on gas for electricity generation.

If we want jobs for the future, we need to hitch our wagon to the 21st century and that means renewables, not fossil fuels.

We need to attract manufacturing of the future to the Hydro site, which will create more long term, sustainable jobs than any gas-fired power station.

Janet Murray, Cessnock-Kurri Greens, Buttai

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