Federal Nationals’ Leader David Littleproud has warned today’s closure of Liddell Power Station will hurt household hip pockets without a reliable alternative.
Mr Littleproud said Labor’s policies were hurting job security for the Hunter and energy security for Australia and from today, NSW would lose 10 per cent of its existing baseload energy.
“In two years, Eraring Power Station, which accounts for 25 per cent of the state’s energy requirements, will also close. I firmly believe we must urgently consider other options. It’s why The Nationals have continually urged the government to have a National Energy Summit,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The Coalition’s investment in the Kurri Kurri gas generator would have seen a reliable replacement delivered in late 2023, but Labor’s Hydrogen plan is a sad example of their ideology not matching the practical reality of the need for cheap and reliable power.
“It’s time to have a constructive, honest and mature conversation about the long-term solutions such as the emerging small modular nuclear reactors (SMR). We can target zero emissions and have clean, reliable energy while still being able to afford power and keep warm in winter.”
Federal Nationals Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie, said both Liddell and Eraring sites were ideal locations for SMRs.
“These sites plug straight into the existing power grid, eliminating the need, as Labor’s plan does, to build a whole new grid, which includes tens of thousands of kilometres of new power lines,” Dr Gillespie said.
“They will also generate carbon-free clean energy and provide NSW and Australia with affordable and reliable 24/7 baseload power.”
Hunter-based Nationals Senator Ross Cadell said nuclear was often left out of the “clean energy” conversation despite it being the second largest source of low-carbon electricity in the world, behind hydropower.
“The Achilles heel of wind and solar is the provision of adequate storage, at a reasonable cost, of power not needed in the middle of the day, but needed when the sun is not shining and/or the wind is not blowing,” Senator Cadell said.
“When you rank the cost of various energy sources, power from SMR is the cheapest to operate.
“Transitioning these current energy generation sites will ensure comparable employment for our local workers and protects our agricultural and natural environment from wind, solar and high voltage power lines.”
Mr Littleproud added The Nationals supported renewable energy and reducing emissions, but Labor was putting investment confidence at risk.
“Common sense tells you we still need to keep the lights on and also deliver confidence to businesses and families,” Mr Littleproud said.