Media Releases | 18th Oct, 2004

Major gas power station good news for future of energy

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Environment Victoria fully supports the proposed new gas power station for western Victoria, which was announced today.

“Victoria could yet have a future with clean energy if projects such as this one – near Mortlake – continue to come on line,” said Environment Victoria’s Executive Director, Marcus Godinho.

“Compared to our current brown coal power generation – which is a major contributor to global warming – gas makes good environmental sense. We need to be phasing out brown coal to allow gas investment. This kind of proposal, which could provide up to 1000 megawatts of power, should mean power stations such as Hazelwood – Australia’s most greenhouse polluting power station – are closed down.

“Gas can meet our energy appetite and help protect our environment.”

He said gas had the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any fossil fuel and its use produced lower greenhouse gas emissions – about 70% lower than brown coal.

“Ideally, though, we should be phasing out all fossil fuels. Until that time a mix of gas and renewable energies is the answer.”

Mr Godinho urged government to initiate an emission trading scheme. “Brown coal has had a free ride for too long. Its cheap price does not reflect the massive damage to environmental and human health it creates. For gas and renewables to have a fair go, brown coal needs to operate on a fair playing field.”

Victoria is one of the worst greenhouse polluters in the world, per person, because we are reliant on brown coal. If we are to reduce the threat of man-made global warming then we must reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

In Victoria global warming means more bushfires, less water, more severe droughts, severe storms and a diminishing snow line – most of which we are already witnessing.

“Each and every one of us will be affected,” he said.

The proposed new billion dollar Origin power station, currently seeking development approval, will be located 12km west of Mortlake and will be operational by 2008.