It is a great honour to serve the people of Myall Lakes, however the role I have carries great responsibility, one of those is to ensure I leave a better community for the next generation, to that end I have supported the move to cleaner technologies encouraging the States investment in wind, solar and Hydro power projects.

I also have a responsibility to you today and as electricity prices continue to rise it is incumbent on me to find a way to create a cleaner environment and also bring down the cost of living that many families and seniors across the Myall Lakes are struggling with.

Because of rising power prices I seek your feedback on the NSW Government investing in the construction of a high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power station so that we can increase the base load power being fed into the grid and put downward pressure on electricity prices.

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Deploying high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power plants is a key first step along a pathway to near-zero emissions from coal with carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). HELE technologies are commercially available now and, if deployed, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the entire power sector by around 20%.

What does improving efficiency mean?

Improving efficiency increases the amount of energy that can be extracted from a single unit of coal. A one percentage point improvement in the efficiency of a conventional pulverised coal combustion plant results in a 2-3% reduction in CO2 emissions.

What can be achieved?

Moving the current average global efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants from 33% to 40% by deploying more advanced off-the-shelf technology could cut two gigatonnes of CO2 emissions now, while allowing affordable energy for economic development and poverty reduction. Two gigatonnes of CO2 is equivalent to:

  • India’s annual CO2 emissions
  • Running the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme for 53 years at its current rate, or
  • Running the Kyoto Protocol three times over.

In addition to significant benefits from reduced CO2 emissions, these modern high efficiency plants have significantly reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM). Beyond the climate benefits of reduced CO2 emissions, reduction in these pollutants is of additional importance at the local and regional level to address air quality and related health concerns.