Environment Victoria has criticised claims by the state government that Victoria will face power shortages if the polluting Hazelwood power station is replaced under the federal Government’s Clean Energy Future package.
Acting Premier Peter Ryan and Energy Minister Michael O’Brien have claimed that Victoria could have power-outages on hot days and replacing Hazelwood will cost ‘thousands’ of jobs.
Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today:
“Victoria has more than enough clean energy projects in the pipeline to replace Hazelwood long before 2020.
“The state government has already approved over 3000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy projects awaiting construction, and there are another 3,800 MW of combined cycle gas projects in development.
“We’d expect to see the Victorian Government showing a bit more confidence and backing Victorian industry to deliver these new cleaner power stations. There is no real risk of the lights going out. This negative scaremongering by the state government does nothing to help Victoria clean up our energy supply, and only highlights the lack of a clean energy plan for Victoria.
“What the state government should be doing is working to ensure that some of the renewable energy and combined cycle gas replacements for Hazelwood are built in the Latrobe Valley, and that the Latrobe Valley receives the bulk of the $200 million Federal fund for affected regions.
“The state government’s reaction stands in stark contrast to the constructive engagement shown by many leaders in the Latrobe Valley, who are ready to help their community transition away from polluting brown-coal.
“Victorians want to see some leadership from the state government on climate change. It’s time they developed their own climate change agenda, instead of peddling falsehoods.”