Media Releases | 17th May, 2010

Replacing Australia’s dirtiest power station could fill climate policy vacuum, says report

Monday, 17 May 2010

A new report released today finds Hazelwood power station could be replaced as soon as the end of 2012, cutting Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by 12 percent and creating hundreds more jobs than it currently provides.

The report, Fast-tracking Victoria’s clean energy future to replace the Hazelwood Power Station, commissioned by Environment Victoria and written by energy market analysts Green Energy Markets, comes as the federal and state governments are searching for new climate policy measures to replace the dumped carbon pollution reduction scheme.

“This report shows that replacing Australia’s dirtiest power station (1) represents a significant and comparatively low cost opportunity to reduce greenhouse emissions and begin the process of cleaning up Victoria’s electricity supply,’’ Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today.

“This report kicks off a major campaign to ensure that the election platforms of both the State and Federal ALP and Coalition take the necessary steps on climate change, starting with replacing our most polluting power station with new clean energy projects.

“It also highlights that the clean energy replacements for Hazelwood can create up to 2500 construction jobs and 2300 ongoing jobs, many more than Hazelwood currently provides, though there would still be a need to support new job creation in the Latrobe Valley.’’

Green Energy Markets Director Ric Brazzale said the report found that Victoria is in a fortunate position to have access to a diverse range of clean energy resources, which together could replace Hazelwood’s generation many times over while maintaining energy security and affordability.

“Clean energy projects that are ready to go with planning approvals, or close to having planning approvals, can replace both Hazelwood’s peak electricity generation and also its annual contribution by the end of 2012, ensuring that we reduce emissions and keep the lights on.”

“By combining new renewable energy with efficient gas and energy efficiency measures we can cut Hazelwood’s annual emissions of 16.2 million tonnes to 1.8 million tonnes, which would reduce Victoria’s emissions by 12 percent annually, as well as freeing up 27 billion litres of water for other uses.”

“However, to replace Hazelwood and bring forward new clean energy projects the Victorian Government would need to implement new policy measures that work as a transition to the eventual introduction of a price on carbon.

“With the recent focus on ‘direct action’ on climate change, replacing the least efficient power stations like Hazelwood could make a very large difference to greenhouse emissions in a very short time period.”

Download the report

Read the executive summary

For interview

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria Campaigns Director
0439 700 501

(1) The report finds that Hazelwood produces 1.53 tonnes of CO2 per MWh, higher than any other utility scale power station in Australia.