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What clean fuel can replace coal in NSW with no down time?

A new ANU study and site atlas shows that pumped hydro could replace all NSW coal-burning power stations and provide reliable power within minutes of being engaged on any particular day.

The pumped-hydro atlas identifying 8,600 suitable sites in NSW.

The CEO of the NSW Nature Conservation Council Kate Smolski said “This Australian National University study shows that NSW can source all our power from clean sources, at any time of day, 200 times over”.

ANU identified 29,000 GWh of storage capacity in NSW and the ACT, while only 450 GWh is needed to replace all coal and gas fired power stations in Australia.

“Why would we continue burning coal, polluting communities and ripping up farms [and public reserves] for open-cut coal mines, when we there are thousands of sites in NSW that can provide clean energy on-demand?”  said Smolski.

Pumped-hydro at 7.5c/kWh

“The ANU research estimates the cost of renewable energy backed up by pumped-hydro at 7.5c/kWh, which is lower than current wholesale prices in NSW, without even taking into account the benefits of pollution-reduction.

“Hydroelectric turbines can switch from off to full power in one minute, while coal-burning generators take all day to get up to speed.

“In today’s modern grid, flexible and dispatchable power is what we need, and 8,600 sites have now been identified in NSW to provide that power with zero pollution.

“Spending $900 million on propping up Liddell coal-burning power station for five more years would be a complete waste.

“We’re calling on the NSW Government to fast-track development of a few pumped-hydro sites to balance the grid when Liddell closes in 2022,” she said.

Source: ANU press release

ANU atlas of pumped hydro energy storage

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