Media Releases | 10th Oct, 2012

Coal compensation holds back renewable energy

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

With Parliament debating the Clean Energy Act regulations this week and evidence growing that coal-fired power plants like Playford are staying open to remain eligible for compensation, national organisations have called on the Government to review excessive handouts to Australia’s dirtiest power stations. 

“Polluting power stations like Hazelwood have been unnecessarily and excessively compensated for the introduction of the carbon price and are likely to make windfall gains,” said Mark Wakeham, Campaigns Director for Environment Victoria. 

“The Government has failed to deliver contracts for closure of coal power; now it should review and withdraw the compensation for coal,” he said.

“As our politicians debate amendments that remove the safety net provided by the price floor, they should also support removal of handouts to coal generators,” said Tony Mohr, Manager Climate Change Program for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“Investors and owners of coal-fired power stations should not be compensated for a policy that’s been on the horizon for a decade and has finally become law,” he said.

Across the country 22,000 young Australians recently voted in a poll, with 93% wanting the Government to invest more in renewable energy,” said Ellen Sandell, National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

“Our politicians should scrap the handouts to old coal power stations like Playford in Port Augusta and invest in solutions, not pollution,” she said. 

In Port Augusta the community, council, unions, businesses and even power station owner Alinta want to replace old and polluting Playford with Australia’s first solar thermal generator.  

“It’s about time the government delivered the right incentives to make the switch from coal to solar especially in places like Port Augusta. Politicians need to take responsibility for national infrastructure for the benefit of the nation, and our children’s future,” said Gary Rowbottom, a worker from the coal power plants in Port Augusta.


Tony Mohr (ACF) 0408 806 206, Mark Wakeham (EV) 0439 700 501, Ellen Sandell (AYCC) 0400 544 754

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