Media Releases | 20th Nov, 2014

Environment Victoria response to Greens announcement to close surplus coal generation


20 November 2014

Environment Victoria strongly welcomes today’s announcement by the Greens to push for an orderly phase-out of Victoria’s most polluting power stations and their replacement with renewable energy.

In August, the operator of the national electricity grid (the Australian Energy Market Operator) announced that Victoria has approximately 2000 MW of excess power generation capacity, which could be decommissioned with no risk of supply disruptions for consumers.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham today said:

“Over 50% of Victoria’s greenhouse pollution comes from a handful of brown coal power stations, and the energy regulator is saying that at least one large and one small power station are superfluous to our energy needs. This begs the question why we are allowing these unnecessary power stations to continue to pollute.”

“Today’s announcement by the Greens is the first major policy announcement by any party in this State election campaign that actually addresses Victoria’s energy problem- that we have the dirtiest power stations on the planet.”

“We are likely to see the closure of major power stations in the coming years, regardless of government intervention. But without a clear plan from Government to deliver a planned phase out of the most polluting power stations, communities will be left at the mercy of power companies who will act in their own interest, not those of communities and Victorian consumers.”

“Closing superfluous power stations will result in immediate improvements in air quality for residents in Anglesea and the Latrobe Valley, and hundreds of jobs will be created during the rehabilitation of mines and power stations.”

“Earlier this month we heard the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issue its clearest warning yet that coal needs to stay in the ground if we’re to avoid dangerous climate change. The G20 summit has confirmed that the rest of the world is taking this warning seriously.”

“With just over one week to the state election, it is encouraging that at least one of the three main parties contesting the State election is prepared to talk openly about ending our reliance on coal-fired power.”
“Labor and the Coalition are notably missing in action on climate change and coal. This exposes Victoria to the worst impacts of climate change and leaves coal communities like the Latrobe Valley at the mercy of the market and the whims of coal generators without an orderly retirement plan for our dirtiest power stations.”

For media comment:

Mark Wakeham, CEO, Environment Victoria
DIRECT:   03 9341 8127  MOBILE: 0439 700 501