Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Snowy 2.0 - a Climate Action blunder

“Snowy 2.0 proposal must be rejected because it will return to Australia a pittance on the huge political, emotional and economic investment we’re putting into it,” said Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The consolidated tax profit to Snowy Hydro last financial year was just $210.2 million for hydro power generation of 4,349GWh[1].  So even if Snowy 2.0 generates 350GWh of stand-by power, which it can’t, it will make a miniscule return on investment,” he said.  

“The Snowy 2.0 isn’t a closed system as water is pumped between its dams must serve many masters; including an existing hydro scheme and downstream water customers.  The limited water and competing demands will combine to greatly reduce its operational performance”, Mr Muir said.

“And the Snowy-Hydro cachet has made its politics worse.  The community just can’t see Snowy 2.0 as a white elephant with a 27 kilometre trunk.  Pump-storage schemes usually are connected by up to short water pipes or tunnels, but not Snowy 2.0,” he said. 

“The length of tunneling through hard rock makes Snowy 2.0 an exceptionally bad pump-storage proposal, by pushing costs and environmental impacts beyond any common-sense measure.  If approved, it shall cause almost unimaginably large environmental impacts upon the top third of Kosciuszko National Park. These impacts include a new road through old growth forests and woodlands down an escarpment to Lobs Hole, the dispersal of a pest fish from the Murray into the Murrumbidgee and millions of tonnes of hard rock dumped in the park,” Mr Muir said.

“So on top of its tiny, much delayed economic return for this proposal and its attack on the idea of national parks being protected areas set aside for nature, Snowy 2.0 burns our political capital that we need for investment in efficient, less damaging energy storage projects.  If approved, Snowy 2.0 will be a debacle that discourages better projects that would address the climate emergency for fear of repeating its costly errors.        ###


[1] Snowy Hydro Limited and its Controlled Entities ABN 17 090 574 431 Annual Report for the financial period ended 30 June 2018


For more information Keith Muir PH (02) 9261 2400 MOB: 0412 791 404