New South Wales Cuts Red Tape to Make Green Energy Easier

By Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national affairs including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and Australia-China relations. Got a tip? Contact him at
April 23, 2020Updated: April 23, 2020

The New South Wales government has cut through some red tape to make it easier for owners of homes and commercial buildings to install large scale solar systems without council approval.

The amendments to state environmental laws enable utility providers to construct electricity storage as part of improvement works and allow for large-scale battery storage systems to be built in permitted zones.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the government was committed to providing an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy network.

“These changes ensure planning requirements are aligned with advances in technology and enable emerging energy projects to progress through the planning system more efficiently,” he said.

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the changes will help support new projects funded through the NSW government’s $75 million (US$47.6 million) Emerging Energy Program which supports the development of large-scale electricity and storage projects.

“NSW residents are embracing renewable energy with about 490,000 homes and small businesses saving money on their energy bills by installing small-scale solar, and these amendments will support this trend to continue,” Kean said.

He said the changes will help innovative electricity projects like big batteries and higher capacity solar and wind systems to come online sooner.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has rolled out a series of initiatives over the past few weeks to try to stem the impact of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, on the state economy, including grants to small business, and fast-tracking infrastructure projects.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia earlier this week said the country would be facing the “… biggest contraction in national output and income that we have witnessed since the 1930s.” He called on Australians to look at reinvigorating the economy once virus restrictions are wound back.