TransGrid has published its Transmission Annual Planning Report (TAPR) 2020.
Electricity is central to almost every part of our lives. It lights, heats and cools our homes and workplaces. It powers mass communication and the devices we use for work, education and entertainment. It underpins our connection with one another and our mobility by powering trains, light rail, high-rise lifts and increasingly – over time – our commercial, mass transit, freight and private vehicles. It drives the output of traditional industries, manufacturing and 21st century digital enterprise which is transforming production, productivity and society.
Our demand for energy is growing and will continue to grow as we convert to an entirely new fleet of electric vehicles and hybrids over the decades ahead and as our cities grow along with higher population.
It’s not just our society’s demand for electricity however, which is shaping the sector. We are also transitioning steadily away from 20th century sources of electricity – coal-fired generation - to a higher reliance on clean, low cost renewable generation including solar and wind. With the last coal-fired generator in NSW scheduled to cease operation in 2042, our challenge is defined over the next two decades: all existing coal-fired generation in this State must be replaced by firmed renewables and even more generation capacity must be added to account for the inevitable growth to come from our society’s increased population and other demand drivers.
In the last century, our electricity system was designed and developed around its main fuel source, coal. Our power stations were built consequently close to where the coal was mined – predominantly in eastern, regional NSW, and the high voltage transmission network linked these coal fired generators with population centres including the State’s major cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, along the coast.
This century, the new sources of electricity generation – the greatest volumes and most cost-effective locations for wind and solar – are most often found further inland in NSW than the coal of last century. This necessitates new planning and investment in regional transmission lines which will connect large-scale renewable generation with population centres and industry.
The document is available at https://www.transgrid.com.au/what-we-do/Business-Planning/transmission-annual-planning. TransGrid welcomes feedback and enquiries via the contact details in TAPR 2020.