Snowy 2.0: Claims and counter claims

The National Parks Association of NSW says that Snowy 2.0 “doesn’t stack up”, and Snowy Hydro Limited says these claims are “deliberately misleading.”

The National Parks Association of NSW has continued its opposition to the Snowy 2.0 project, releasing a paper outlining reasons why the project doesn’t stack up.

They published a similar paper last October and the NPA argues their documents demonstrate that “the case for Snowy 2.0 and its claimed benefits simply don’t stack up.”

The NPA suggests there are better alternatives that won’t impact on the Kosciuszko National Park (KNP).

NPA also says that while they support a “rapid shift to renewable energy to decarbonise the electricity sector” and also support “pumped hydro as a component of this shift,” they oppose Snowy 2.0.

The 52-page document begins with the claim that neither at the time of the project announcement (March 15, 2017) nor over the following three years has there been an independent, expert assessment of the project and its claimed benefits, nor of alternative energy storage options.

“It is well time for the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to establish an independent expert Review Panel to rigorously assess Snowy 2.0 and alternative energy storage options,” the paper reads.

“NPA is confident that such a review would conclusively determine that the project is unviable, inferior to alternative energy storage options and that environmental approval should be refused.”

The paper then lists the ten key benefits of Snowy 2.0 as outlined by Snowy Hydro Limited, and contends each point in detail as being “overstated” or “false.”

NPA’s Paper can be accessed in full on their website.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad has hit back at the paper, saying that the NPA’s claims are “deliberately misleading.”

“While we understand the NPA’s agenda is to stop development in national parks, in this case, they sadly can’t see the wood for the trees. It also ignores the fact that the park has been Snowy Hydro’s backyard for 70 years, in which we have shown strong respect for the local environment,” Mr Broad said.

“The bigger environmental picture is that for a very small construction footprint, with very minimal impact on the park, Snowy 2.0 will underpin Australia’s transition to a low emissions future and deliver new supplies of renewable energy sufficient to power 500,000 homes.

“We have worked extremely hard to avoid and minimise the impacts of the project. The total construction footprint in Kosciuszko National Park is around 0.1% of the park. Once operational, this drops to 0.01% of the park. Any impacts from the project will be rehabilitated and a significant amount of offsets funding will be contributed to environmental initiatives in the KNP, which has been badly affected by bushfires.

“The Snowy 2.0 project that will deliver 5,000 direct and indirect jobs and other business spin-offs is also vitally important to the regional economic recovery of the area following the devastating bushfires.”

Snowy Hydro Ltd has also responded to the NPA’s claims on their website.