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Australia Federal government will spend $600 million on new Kurri Kurri gas plant in the NSW Hunter Valley

17:06  18 may  2021
17:06  18 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

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The Morrison government has confirmed it will spend up to $600 million building a new gas-fired power station in Kurri Kurri in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

The money to build the 660 megawatt open cycle gas turbine has been allocated towards government-owned company Snowy Hydro Limited in this year's budget.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison first flagged building the plant last year, saying power prices could rise by 30 per cent in NSW if energy companies couldn't fill the 1000-megawatt gap left by the closure of the Liddell power station in 2023.

The government says its Hunter Power Project will create 600 jobs in the region at the peak of its construction phase.

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In a statement, Energy Minister Angus Taylor insisted the plant would secure reliable and affordable energy for NSW once Liddell shuts down.

"Cheap power is crucial to ensuring families, businesses and job-creating industries in NSW can thrive, which is why we are committed to replacing the energy generated by Liddell to keep prices down," Mr Taylor said.

"This project will deliver flexible gas generation to replace Liddell and maintain reliable power alongside Australia's world-leading investment in renewables."

The government's intention to intervene in the NSW energy market was revealed last month, after the private sector was given a deadline to invest in new projects before the end of April.

The new plant would work to make up the energy shortfall left by Liddell alongside a 316-megawatt gas power station EnergyAustralia is establishing in Wollongong.

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Global action needed to achieve net zero by 2050

The announcement came as the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a roadmap towards achieving global net zero emissions by 2050 — saying that doing so "requires nothing short of a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies".

"This gap between rhetoric and action needs to close if we are to have a fighting chance of reaching net zero by 2050 and limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.

More than 400 milestones are set out in the roadmap, including that no new fossil fuel projects be approved.

"Despite the current gap between rhetoric and reality on emissions, our roadmap shows that there are still pathways to reach net zero by 2050," Dr Birol said.

"Our pathway requires vast amounts of investment, innovation, skillful policy design and implementation, technology deployment, infrastructure building, international co‐operation and efforts across many other areas."

According to the roadmap, even if net zero commitments are achieved there will still be a temperature rise of 2.1C by the end of the century.

Australia is facing increasing pressure from world leaders to announce more ambitious goals on curbing emissions ahead of the next round of international climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

Mr Morrison hasn't committed to a timeline to achieving net zero emissions, instead saying he wants Australia to do so as soon as possible with the help of technology – preferably by 2050.

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