The Federal Government will today unveil a plan for a $2 billion expansion of the Snowy Hydro electric scheme in order to stave off the impending energy crisis on Australia’s east coast.
This expansion is set to increase the output of the hydroelectric power scheme by up to 50%. The move which is being heralded as a “game-changer” by officials in the race to rescue Australia’s dwindling energy supplies.
“The amount of new power we’re talking about here will be bigger than the Hazelwood power plant, which is scheduled to close at the end of this month, ” Energy Minister Josh Frydenburg told ABC Radio. “So this is a game changing announcement, something that is iconic in Australia and I think it should be welcomed by all Australians.”
A feasibility study into the impact of the changes on energy supplies will be undertaken on the scheme as soon as possible. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears optimistic that the changes will prove successful in the battle against blackouts.
“By supercharging the Snowy Hydro precinct, we can ensure affordable and reliable electricity for Australian households and businesses,” Mr Turnbull has said.
This move follows Mr Turnbull’s recent warnings to the chiefs of Australia’s gas industry that he will not hesitate to wield government power over exports unless more gas is made available domestically.
However, there have been voices opposing Mr Turnbull’s pursuit of hydro electricity as the answer to the energy crisis. MPs from within his own Coalition government have voiced support for the consideration of nuclear power as an alternative solution, and the South Australian Government has already made concrete moves to place their trust in a new gas-fired power plant and the nation’s largest battery in order to secure energy supplies in the state.