News | 8th Feb, 2013

Australia unlikely to build new coal-power stations

8 Feb 2013
Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald

AUSTRALIA is unlikely to build new coal-fired power stations because of tumbling prices for renewable energy and the rising cost of finance for emission-intensive fuels, according to research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Even without a carbon price, wind energy is now 14 per cent cheaper than a new baseload coal-fired power station and 18 per cent cheaper than a new gas one, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

The gap widens further when the carbon tax is added. Wind farms can now generate electricity at $80 per megawatt hour, compared with $143 per MWh for a new coal power station and $116 for a new baseload gas power station…

…''It's very unlikely that new coal [power stations] would be built in Australia,'' said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of clean energy research for BNEF in Australia.

Aside from the carbon tax – which the Coalition has vowed to scrap if it wins the September 14 election – reputational and other risks associated with coal means developers will struggle to obtain low-cost funding for any new venture. The research included a survey of the country's big four banks.

''Financing for coal would be made very expensive because of all the risks involved,'' Mr Bhavnagri said.


Read the full article >

Sign up to our Safe Climate eBulletin >
Join the conversation on Facebook >