News | 7th Sep, 2012

Enviro groups say brown-coal carbon tax compo keeps us dirty

Friday, 7 September 2012
Graham Lloyd, The Australian

THE carbon tax is making Australia more, not less, dependent on the highly polluting brown-coal electricity generators.

Billion-dollar subsidies have allowed the Victorian operations to force cleaner base-load power stations out of the market.

An analysis of the National Electricity Market has shown that brown coal is taking a bigger share at the expense of black coal in NSW and South Australia.

The federal government's decision to abandon a planned buyout of brown-coal generation in Victoria has sparked a free-for-all in the debate over Australia's future energy policy.

Environment groups have called for billions of dollars in compensation to Victoria's brown-coal generators to be withheld and the Australian Coal Association has called for the federal government's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to be scrapped…

Environment groups said the federal government's decision to abandon its planned buyout of Victorian brown-coal generation was working against efforts to reduce Australia's carbon dependence. It would continue the trend of shutting less polluting NSW coal-fired electricity generators out of the market. The result would be more carbon emissions and higher job losses, Environment Victoria campaign director Mark Wakeham said…

The net result was the federal government had subsidised the dirtiest power stations to the point they were displacing the less-polluting black-coal generators in NSW, Mr Wakeham said.

"You can't have a clean energy future if power stations like Hazelwood are expected to pollute indefinitely."



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