NSW government axes $50 million “virtual battery” scheme announced just last year

Australian Greens

NSW government axes $50 million “virtual battery” scheme announced just last year.

After announcing the Smart Energy for Homes and Businesses program in late 2018 the NSW government has quietly axed it in the lead up to the state budget.

The scheme would have worked as a 200MW “virtual battery” program designed to prevent capital expenditure to meet peak energy demand for just a handful of afternoons and evenings a year.

Under the scheme participants were to feed excess electricity back into the grid during peak demand periods, with the energy coming from solar panels and domestic batteries as well as reducing demand from connected household appliances such as smart air-conditioners.

Greens MP David Shoebridge and spokesperson for Energy says:

“This is another climate fail from a state government that doesn’t even have a renewable energy target and has no answers to the climate crisis.

“If the virtual battery plan is dead then consumers may well be facing higher power bills to build expensive new generating capacity to meet that rare peak demand.

“This program took the benefits of the rooftop solar expansion and harnessed it to meet peak energy demand.

“With no state wide renewable target the only thing the State Government has is a series of ad hoc programs, and now one of those appears to be heading to the scrap bin.

“This was a $50 million program that was designed to save additional capital expenditure to meet peak energy demand. This is demand that happens on only a handful of afternoons and evenings a year.

“We need strong binding state targets and real commitment to programs that will reduce demand and deliver new renewable energy, to save household budgets and the environment,” Mr Shoebridge said.

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