NSW Productivity Commission slammed for recommending nuclear power while ignoring offshore wind
The NSW Productivity Commission is under fire for recommending that the NSW government lift the state’s ban on nuclear power while ignoring proven and cheaper renewable energy sources such as offshore wind.
Among the 60 recommendations to boost productivity and economic growth, the NSW Productivity Commission white paper released this week proposed lifting the ban on nuclear generation for small modular reactors.
The same report made no mention of offshore wind generation, despite the proven technology producing an increasing share of electricity globally and several major proposals awaiting approval off the coast of New South Wales.
This is despite CSIRO’s most recent power generation cost report showing SMR nuclear reactors cost around $ 16,000 per kilowatt, or nearly three times offshore wind. A recent analysis in the UK revealed that the cost of developing offshore wind is even lower.
The Maritime Union of Australia said it was astounding that the NSW Productivity Commission recommended that resources be invested in small modular nuclear reactors – technology that does not yet exist – instead of cheaper, cleaner technologies. and proven as offshore wind power.
“It’s amazing that the NSW Productivity Commission is proposing a major regulatory overhaul for a theoretical technology that doesn’t work anywhere on earth, without even mentioning one of the fastest growing forms of power generation,” said the MUA Deputy National Secretary Warren Smith. .
“Rather than wasting years debating a theoretical technology, which will entail huge costs and significant safety concerns, the NSW government should continue to support the development of reliable, inexpensive offshore wind resources. and abundant.
“The focus by the NSW Productivity Commission on an industry that doesn’t even exist, while ignoring proven technology that can provide power and jobs for NSW right now, shows that an ideological agenda is pro- nuclear power has been placed before the economic interests of the state.
“Small nuclear reactors have been promised for half a century, but none yet exist. Most countries with nuclear power are moving away from technology, with new reactors hugely exceeding their budget, requiring massive subsidies from taxpayers and blocking higher electricity prices for consumers.
“In contrast, offshore wind technology continues to mature, offering massive growth at ever lower prices.
“Australia has the advantage of long coastlines close to population centers, as well as highly skilled sailors and offshore oil and gas workers who could be used to build local wind projects.
“The development of an offshore wind industry would also provide an opportunity to transition highly skilled workers from the fossil fuel industries to a clean and green alternative.
“With the urgent need to cut carbon emissions to combat global warming, it is absurd that the NSW Productivity Commission would suggest sitting on our hands for a decade in the hope that a theoretical technology will magically solve the problem. while we already have solutions available.
“NSW has the opportunity to become a major exporter of clean, renewable energy, securing our economy for the future, but only if the Berejiklian government takes immediate action to support proven technologies. “
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