In a word – NO!
The National Parks Association of NSW today released a comprehensive research paper which demonstrates that the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro storage project does not stack up on either environmental or financial grounds and its benefits are overstated.
In releasing the Paper, the Executive Officer of NPA, Gary Dunnett, stated that “for the past 2½ years since the March 2017 announcement of Snowy 2.0 there has been a steady stream of alarming information revealing from every angle that Snowy 2.0 just doesn’t stack up.”
“When announced, Snowy 2.0 was to cost $2 billion, take 4 years to construct (2021), and be fully funded by Snowy Hydro – none of which has turned out to be anywhere near correct. The cost has soared to $10 billion, the construction time has more than doubled to 2027 and the Commonwealth Government has kicked in $1.4 billion (with more likely to be needed).”
“Snowy 2.0 should not have been contemplated in the first place, due to its substantial, permanent environmental damage to Kosciuszko National Park.”
“Sticking a hip 2.0 moniker on it and invoking the nation-building romance of the original Snowy Scheme cannot change the fact that this is environmental vandalism and economic folly … carried out in the name of pretending it’s a silver bullet for an energy policy.”
“There’s literally hundreds of alternative opportunities for energy storage – pumped hydro, batteries, demand response etc – but Snowy 2.0 is one of the most destructive and expensive.”
“The fact that Snowy 2.0 has been approved, contracts awarded ($5.1 billion) and construction commenced well before the environmental impacts have assessed defies belief and the law of the land” Mr Dunnett said.
“And this is even more reprehensible as the project will substantially and permanently damage Kosciuszko – one of Australia’s iconic natural places”.
“The Commonwealth Shareholding Ministers should revoke the approval of the Business Case on the grounds of inadequate estimation of the costs and projected returns of the project to the Australian public. And the NSW Minister for Planning should refuse approval for the EIS on the grounds of inconsistency between the enormous scale of the project and the National Park status of the proposed development site” Mr Dunnett said.
“Ultimately it will be the Australian public that bears the costs and Kosciuszko National Park that bears the scars”.
Mr Dunnett emphasised “NPA is not opposed to pumped hydro storage schemes as such – additional electricity storage, including pumped hydro, is definitely needed as renewable generation expands.”
“But Snowy 2.0 doesn’t stack up environmentally or economically – there are far better alternatives. Snowy 2.0 is the wrong project in the wrong place”, he concluded.
Ted Woodley, NPA Treasurer: 9299 0000
Anne Dickson, NPA President: 9299 0000