Former Latrobe Valley Authority chief executive Karen Cain believes collaboration between Hunter Valley groups is essential for successful energy transition

The challenges of energy transition are rumbling towards communities across Australia like an approaching freight train. It's been off in the distance for a while, but the roar of the locomotive is getting louder and louder. Communities that have been dependent on fossil fuel industries for generations have no choice but to pay attention.

 

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen says the government's climate policy will lay the foundation for a successful Hunter clean energy transition

The federal government's recently passed climate legislation would ensure regions such as the Hunter achieved a just and effective energy transition, Energy and climate change minister Chris Bowen has argued.

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen says green hydrogen will be introduced to the Hunter Power Project at Kurri as soon as possible

Energy minister Chris Bowen said he was confident the gas-fired Hunter Power Project at Kurri Kurri can be converted to green hydrogen for $700 million. Questions about the feasibility of the conversion project, which Labor announced in February, have arisen in recent weeks.

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Liddell Power Station site a step closer to becoming a green hydrogen hub under plans by AGL and Fortescue Future Industries chairman Twiggy Forrest

About 1000 new clean energy jobs could be created from a green hydrogen production hub on the site of Liddell Power Station, early research suggests. The project's proponents AGL and Fortescue Future Industries announced on Tuesday they were expanding their feasibility study for project to include two of Japan's biggest energy companies - Inpex Corporation and Osaka Gas.

 

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Consultation on Hunter offshore wind projects expected to commence in coming months

Offshore wind turbines could be operating off the Hunter coast within the next decade after the federal government said the region had "world-class" wind energy potential. Public consultation on the project, which industry estimates would create hundreds of clean energy jobs, is expected to commence in coming months.

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Applications open for the Hunter Expert Panel, part of the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund

Hunter leaders and community representatives have been invited to apply for positions on the region's expert panel. The panel will provide local knowledge and advice to the state government on projects and initiatives that will support economic diversification and create future jobs in coal mining communities.

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Newcastle University's Global Centre for Environmental Remediation head Professor Ravi Naidu says NSW government bond system holds less than half of what is needed to rehabilitate Hunter mines

When major coal mine projects fail or close without notice, they often leave a path of destruction. Thousands of workers are unemployed, communities left to count the environmental, social and economic cost and the whole industry and government's credibility takes a battering.

 

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Upper Hunter residents say coal mine rehab should include replanting woodland and forest corridors

COAL mining companies should do better to ensure what they leave behind can be repurposed to create jobs, and to restore the environment, Hunter residents say.

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Hunter's equine industry bucks Upper Hunter Mt Pleasant coal mine 22-year expansion plan

A MOUNTAIN of overburden six kilometres wide, the equivalent of 12 Sydney Harbour Bridges, was a difficult image to escape at a coal mine expansion hearing in Sydney on Friday.

 

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Phillip O'Neill: NSW government should pay back Muswellbrook, the Hunter coal mining town that fattened budget coffers

Last week's census numbers are a warning for Muswellbrook. They reveal a shire with widening, worrying cracks. At the 2021 census, Muswellbrook shire was home to 16,357 people, up by a mere 271 over 2016. Muswellbrook isn't growing like Singleton and Cessnock local government areas down the valley.

 

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Why Grattan Insitute is urging the NSW Government to use more of the royalties it earns from coal to help the Hunter diversify

Take the train from Armidale to Newcastle, and you'll know when you hit coal country. The rolling green hills of New England and wide skies of the Liverpool Plains give way to a view of coal trains. Endlessly long, slow, brown-ish grey wagons, piled high with black coal destined for power stations and export terminals.

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Regional towns could be wiped out by move to net-zero. Here’s their best chance for survival

Australia’s mining and heavy industry sectors are on the cusp of a revolution as the world shifts to net-zero. Demand for traditional industrial commodities – coal, oil, and gas – is set to slide. The International Energy Agency believes global coal use will have to fall 90% if the world is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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We need to speed up the shift to renewables. There are opportunities, and risks, for regional communities

Our current energy crisis has laid bare the risks we all face from our over-reliance on expensive and polluting fossil fuels like gas and coal. To safeguard our grid against international price pressures we need to speed up our shift to cheaper, cleaner renewable energy.

 

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NSW electricity: Grattan Institute backs bigger share of coal mining royalties for Hunter Valley energy transition

A high-profile national policy think tank has joined calls for a public authority to coordinate economic transition in the Hunter and says the NSW government should direct far more coal royalties back to the region. The Grattan Institute on Sunday published a report on how state and federal governments should steer the "next industrial revolution" to achieve the nation's 2050 net-zero target.

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The Hunter Jobs Alliance estimates $650 million is needed to prepare the Hunter for a clean energy transition over the next decade.

About $65 million a year needs to be invested over the next decade to ensure the Hunter is prepared for the economic changes and challenges facing the region, according to a new analysis.

 

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Hunter Jobs Alliance's proposal on exactly what the region needs to tackle the undeniable economic shifts ahead

In 2020, a Muswellbrook Council committee involving employers, unions and business groups commissioned a study by Australia's leading experts on regional industry change, from UniSA. The report lays out decades' worth of experience on how to manage the impacts of industrial closures and structural change. It deserves a read.

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Price of Hunter Valley's energy transition away from coal takes less energy that counting costs

WHAT price can be put on the security of steady work and a plan for the future? Hunter Jobs Alliance analysis has found a just transition for the Hunter Region, one that protects the power industry's workers - and the communities they call home - from the full brunt of the shift to renewables, would cost about $65 million a year over the next decade.

 

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Newcastle in 'Sydney ring' in AEMO 30-year plan's roadmap out of energy gridlock

A new roadmap out of gridlock for the national electricity grid has been developed to fast-track projects that have been on the drawing board for years. Releasing the 30-year plan for the National Electricity Market (NEM) amid an energy crisis, the market operator on Thursday acknowledged the need for new investment has "gathered momentum" in recent months.

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Coal may exit Australia’s grid a lot quicker than most people think

There were some in Australia’s coal generation industry that thought the market operator was kidding itself when it suggested all brown coal generators could close within a decade, and that the remaining black coal generators would all be gone within another ten years.

 

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Newcastle-based clean energy company MGA Thermal unveils the first stage of its new commercial manufacturing facility in Tomago.

Newcastle-based clean energy company MGA Thermal has unveiled the first stage of its new commercial manufacturing facility in Tomago. It is the latest chapter in the company's astronomical rise, which has been driven by demand for new energy storage to replace ageing or and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations.

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Newcastle Herald editorial: Mined the gap - Where's our share of coal royalties?

THREE months ago the Newcastle Herald launched its Power and the Passion series. One of the key goals of the series, which examines the serious impacts of the massive global shift in energy supply, was to ensure both federal and state governments properly recognise the contribution that Hunter coal has made to treasury coffers for around two centuries.

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'More than a mining town': Singleton's tourism brand outlined in recently adopted 10-year Community Strategic Plan

SINGLETON will look to throw off its "mining town stigma" in favour of cycleways and cultural events, under the council's new 10-year strategic plan. Mayor Sue Moore said while regional economic concerns can't be ignored, "overwhelming" feedback from the community focused on "lifestyle and livability".

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Muswellbrook and Singleton mayors hit out at budget snub as Cessnock MP Clayton Barr argues NSW government isn't serious about transitioning communities

THE MAYOR of Muswellbrook has called the state budget a "slap in the face" for the region as a Hunter MP says the "toe in the water" commitment to hydrogen is evidence the government isn't serious about transforming Hunter communities that rely on coal.

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Coal royalties: Queensland wins where NSW’s renewable energy superstar fears to tread

Tuesday was a day of contrasting state budgets, but in ways that many people wouldn’t expect – the Queensland state budget delivered by treasurer Cameron Dick and the NSW budget delivered by Treasurer Matt Kean (otherwise known as our renewable energy superstar).
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NSW State Budget: Hunter projects left 'high and dry' amid huge coal mining windfall

THE NSW government will rake in an extra $810 million in coal royalties this year - and almost $4 billion over the next four years - but has not put an extra dollar into a fund to help coal mining communities prepare for change.

 

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BHP announces plans to close NSW's largest coal mine at Mt Arthur by 2030

Mining giant BHP has failed to find a buyer for New South Wales' largest coal mine, and will close the operation in 2030. The company spent two years trying to sell its Mt Arthur operation in the state's Hunter Valley, which employs 2,000 people.

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Post-mining bonanza: Hunter’s $3.7 billion opportunity in renewable energy, biodiversity, agriculture, and manufacturing

Thousands of jobs and more than $3.7 billion in economic output could be generated in the Hunter if post-mining rehabilitation includes biodiversity restoration and repurposing seriously degraded mine sites for renewable energy projects, according to a groundbreaking new report written by EY and commissioned by Lock the Gate Alliance.

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6000 hectares of mining land in the Upper Hunter earmarked for new job-creating industries

MORE than 6000 hectares of mining land in the Upper Hunter has been earmarked for other industries as part of a blueprint to diversify the region's economy and create thousands of new jobs.

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Coal fire power: Eraring Power Station in the Hunter Valley is running out of coal, Origin tells ASX

Origin Energy has advised the Australian Stock Exchange that Eraring Power Station is running out of coal. The news resulted in the company slashing the profit target for the electricity business. It also threatens to deepen a worsening energy crisis engulfing Australia's east coast.

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Jobs in the Hunter: Hundreds of renewable energy sector jobs go unfilled due to chronic shortages amid desperate search for qualified tradespeople

Hundreds of jobs in the multibillion-dollar renewable energy sector remain unfilled due to a chronic shortage of qualified tradespeople in the Hunter.

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Bayswater, Liddell power stations workers must be a priority in AGL's corporate shakeup and new energy transition strategy

AGL employees and their communities must be among the top priorities in any restructure or revised time frame for the closure of coal-fired generators, Hunter business and employment advocates argue.

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Climate change scientist Tim Flannery says energy transition targets are critical for Hunter to avoid climate catastrophe

IT'S not the destination, but the journey which will be our undoing if we continue along our current trajectory towards catastrophic climate change, says climate scientist Professor Tim Flannery.

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CWP Renewables to expand its Newcastle office, with numerous jobs going

CWP Renewables is expanding in Newcastle, as the company prepares to spend $1 billion on energy projects this year. The Newcastle office is set to grow from a team of 25 to more than 40.

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Gloucester finding optimism in industry diversity as Yancoal mines wind down

AS COAL mines along the Bucketts Way wind down, taking jobs and economic benefits with them, residents in the Upper Hunter town of Gloucester are "excited" about the potential of other industries in the area.

 

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Coal communities' cash splash from Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund a drop in the ocean amid titanic issues

IT'S been labelled by critics as a "spit in the ocean", "spare change", "modest", "a cheap and insulting thought bubble" and "an absolute joke".

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University of Newcastle to co-host $15 million NSW decarbonisation innovation hub

The University of Newcastle is among the beneficiaries of a $15 million state government investment to establish a decarbonisation innovation hub to help fast-track research, development and commercialisation of low emissions technologies.

 

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Scott Morrison to announce $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership involving the University of Newcastle and the University of NSW

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit the Hunter on Wednesday to announce a $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership that the government expects will create 1,600 jobs over the next four years.

 

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Maoneng announces plans for a $1.6billion, 1 gigawatt solar-battery hub for Merriwa

Renewable energy company Maoneng intends to build a $1.6 billion, one gigawatt solar and battery hub at Merriwa in the Upper Hunter.

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Government must support displaced Hunter workers during energy transition

The availability and effectiveness of retraining programs for displaced workers would be a key factor in the the success of the Hunter's energy transition, the head of Australia's peak career development body believes.

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Research reveals 'transition' and 'just transition' are toxic terms for Hunter mining communities

To many in the Hunter, "transition" or "just transition" is a shorthand term for you are going to lose your job.  The phrases, initially developed by the trade union movement in North America to describe interventions to secure workers rights and livelihoods when economies shift from extractive reliant to renewables, are now dirty words.

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Muswellbrook and Singleton mayors demand more help for post-Hunter coal as academics reveal concerns over 'just transition'

IN today's Power and the Passion instalments, reporter Donna Page investigates concerns about the much-discussed "transition" away from coal.

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Regions ready for energy switch: report

Extreme weather, the early closure of coal plants, and a world moving to cut carbon emissions have shifted regional Australians' views on moving away from fossil fuels, a new report says.

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NSW Budget estimates look at how Eraring power station's proposed 2025 closure could affect Myuna and Mandalong collieries

JOB threats to 750 Centennial Coal mineworkers were examined at NSW budget estimates yesterday, which also confirmed that coal exploration would no longer be allowed around historic Wollombi.

 

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In Hunter, where coal is king, a Labor heartland seat faces a strong Coalition challenge

The ALP has held the NSW electorate at every election since 1910. But with seismic changes under way, the valley’s miners are eyeing the future with unease.

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Power and Passion: The Hunter is in a race to cash in on an emerging global hydrogen market

The Hunter is in a race to cash in on an emerging global hydrogen market that will be worth an estimated $1.4 trillion by 2050.  Goldman Sachs estimates that, if realised, the region's hydrogen exports could eventually replicate if not exceed the value of existing coal exports.

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Japan's Eurus Energy invests in Energy Estate's Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N)

Energy Estate and Japan's Eurus Energy have signed an agreement that will have the renewable energy developer take an investment stake in the $2 billion Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N).

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Switching off

Shock, denial, stress, anger. Workers are struggling to comprehend the early closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station and the plan for what comes next. 

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Maoneng unveils $1.6b solar-battery hub plan

Renewables and battery developer Maoneng has revealed ambitions to build an almost one gigawatt solar and battery farm in NSW’s Upper Hunter region in a $1.6 billion project that chief executive Morris Zhou says has attracted interest from infrastructure investors and construction groups.

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor announces funding to fuel Hunter hydrogen hub pilot projects

The federal government's latest investment in Newcastle's hydrogen "hub" will help pay for a pilot plant at Kooragang Island.  Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced on Thursday that the government would spend $82 million on two hydrogen projects in Newcastle, in addition to the $100 million allocated to Port of Newcastle in last month's budget for infrastructure to help prepare the port for hydrogen exports.

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Hunter Valley to score 2,300 new jobs under Coalition’s green energy plan

The Hunter Valley could become a world-leading green energy hub, with thousands of new jobs sparked by a $82 million funding commitment. A job windfall awaits the Hunter Valley under a Coalition plan to make the region a global leader in green energy production and export with a $82 million investment to kickstart a hydrogen “super hub”.

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