Media Releases | 17th May, 2005

Victoria’s polluting power stations revealed

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Climate change pollution from Victoria’s dirtiest power station has escalated – outstripping all other stations – a report card on the state’s brown coal generators has found.

The increase came despite Hazelwood power station spending $500 million on environmental and efficiency programs.

Hazelwood is not only the least efficient brown coal power station in the state, and the country, but also the one with the greatest increase in pollution intensity from 1998, the report card said.

‘Greenhouse Pollution Intensity in the Victorian Brown Coal Power Industry’, produced by an alliance of green groups, examines the five Victorian brown coal generators’ performance, from 1998 to 2004. The report card revealed:

  • Hazelwood had the worst performance, with an increase in pollution intensity of 2.7%.
  • Anglesea showed the best improvement, reducing greenhouse pollution intensity by 7.7%.
  • Loy Yang A achieved the lowest emissions intensity in all years studied. However, brown coal is still more polluting than black coal. It has more than double the emissions intensity of gas and sixty times as much as wind.

Hazelwood is seeking to expand the power station until 2031, which would contribute an extra 348 million tonnes (Mt) of climate change pollution. Hazelwood is only willing to commit to reducing that amount by 25 (Mt) – a mere 7% – over the life of the station.

“It’s the worst performing station and its performance is getting worse, so why would we reward Hazelwood by giving it more coal?” said Australian Conservation Foundation advisor Charles Berger.

“Cheap and dirty energy from Hazelwood is preventing investment in cleaner technologies. Our climate and our economy just can’t take much more of this.”

Environment Victoria’s Climate Change Campaigner Tricia Phelan said it was difficult to see how Hazelwood could reduce its emissions: “How can Hazelwood be trusted to reduce its pollution when it has such a bad track record? Hazelwood is an old clunker and should have been put out of its misery a long time ago.”

Greenpeace Clean Energy Campaigner Mark Wakeham said: “Victoria is one of the worst greenhouse polluters on the planet because of brown coal. The Bracks Government must say no to all new coal.”

Download a copy of the report Greenhouse Pollution Intensity in the Victorian Brown Coal Power Industry