Industry & Investment NSW promotes sustainable development within the New South Wales energy sector and is involved in a range of activities that reflect the importance of a sustainable approach. These activities involve developing and evaluating policies and initiatives that allow environmental, economic and social outcomes from the energy sector to be maximised.
Developing a sustainable energy sector
To meet the challenges of moving towards sustainable development, Industry & Investment NSW aims to reduce the impact of energy production, distribution and consumption while ensuring reliable energy for current and future use.
A significant part of moving towards a sustainable energy sector is addressing greenhouse gas emissions from energy industries. The stationary energy sector produces approximately half of the state's greenhouse emissions, with electricity generation responsible for approximately one-third of NSW greenhouse gas emissions. This is largely due to our heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
The release of energy-related pollutants into the environment is regulated by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, and also in some circumstances by local government, through conditions on development approvals. These conditions are imposed to keep emissions at targeted levels.
Renewable energy is energy derived from sources that cannot be depleted including solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, wave, hydro, geothermal and some forms of biomass. Greater use of renewable energy along with improved energy efficiency will help support sustainable development in the NSW energy sector. The NSW State Plan's target is that 20 per cent of electricity consumed in NSW will be from renewable sources by 2020.