Renewed announcement instead of renewable transition

Shadow Minister for Energy Dr Steve Thomas says the McGowan Government’s announcement of spending on renewable energy capacity appears to be just a re-announcement of the original but wholly inadequate $3.8 billion announced in June 2022.

“The real cost of transition to renewables in Western Australia is more like $15 billion when you include generation, distribution and storage, and it appears the McGowan Government is so embarrassed by its inability to map it out properly it has resorted to rehashing old announcements as new Government spin” Dr Thomas said.

“On the 14th of June last year the Government announced $3.8 billion for “new green power infrastructure around the state including Collie” when it announced the closure of Collie’s Synergy coal fired power stations.

“Today they appear to have simply provided a little more detail on how that money will be spent.

“Unless this is an additional $2.8 billion to be added to the original $3.8 billion, there is nothing new to see here, and it is simply government spin reacting to the bad publicity they have been getting on their transition plan to date.

“However, the media statement released by the Government today includes the line – “Along with the previously announced Water Corporation investment into Stage 2 of the Flat Rocks wind farm, and subject to the relevant approvals, these projects form the initial pipeline earmarked for development in June 2022 when the State Government announced the retirement of State-owned coal-fired power stations.”

Dr Thomas said that the release seemed to be an admission that there is in fact no new funding, and that the current plan remained massively underfunded and undeliverable.

“The $3.8 billion of funding for the transition to renewables is already allocated for 810 Megawatts of wind capacity and 4,400 Megawatt hours of battery storage, leaving nothing for any other part of the necessary infrastructure,” Dr Thomas said.

“The Government’s own recently released study identified that “4,000km of new high-capacity transmission lines could be needed over the next twenty years”, which would add billions to the cost of the transition process.

“The Government has announced $126 million in planning money to plan for the transition including the tenfold increase the generation capacity of the SWIS over the next twenty years, which is also largely unfunded. If the planning costs $126 million you can imagine the price of the build.”