Due to market forces, consumer preference changes, rapid advancement and declining costs in renewable energy technology and changes in government policies both domestically and internationally, the energy mix in NSW is changing. Historically, it's been dominated by fossil fuels - coal and gas fired power generation. However, this inquiry heard that these energy sources are being superseded by renewable energy generation technology.
There's growing concern about the long-term negative impacts of fossil fuels on human health and the environment. As well as this, renewable energy technology is developing rapidly and becoming increasingly more affordable and efficient. This is making renewables a competitive option for supplementing or replacing fossil fuel generation sources in NSW as they age or are decommissioned or when renewable energy reliability and stability can be achieved.
In this context, this report examines the opportunities that renewable energy presents for NSW. The inquiry generated a lot of interest from a broad range of stakeholders. What the Committee heard from them generally stemmed from three issues – transition planning, infrastructure, and government support. A lot of work is being done in this space, and there are different views about what the future will or should look like.