Environment Victoria Acting CEO Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:
“The real problem identified by AEMO is that anti-renewables politicians and the coal industry have been putting the brakes on clean energy while turning a blind eye to the fact that coal power stations need to close
“Rather than panicking about accelerating closure of coal stations we need to plan the transition away from coal.Rather than panicking about accelerating closure of coal stations we need to plan the transition away from coal.Click To Tweet
“The most urgent task at hand is to clarify how much renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage capacity and demand management we need to cope with the closure of Australia’s fleet of coal power stations in the next 10 to 15 years, and then get on with the job of making that happen.
“If Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg say it’s too hard to build enough renewable energy to replace coal power stations, the biggest source of climate pollution in the country, then they are abandoning all credibility on climate policy and energy policy.
“Burning coal for electricity causes 30 percent of Australia’s climate pollution. If we’re going to meet our climate commitments and help avoid the worst of global warming, coal-burning power stations need to close by 2030. It’s that simple.
“Coal power stations will close much sooner than most people expect. We need to anticipate that. In February 2016, Hazelwood’s owners said it would be open until 2032. Just seven months later, they announced it would close in 2017. They put up a smoke screen when the market needed clear signals that more renewable energy supply would be needed.
“We need to be working hand in hand with workers and communities near coal power stations to make they are supported to create vibrant and sustainable regional economies as we transition away from coal. This planning doesn’t happen overnight and Malcolm Turnbull’s contrived urgency to keep power stations open just gives false hope to these communities.
“AGL has made it clear that Liddell will close in 2022. We’re putting our heads in the sand if we think that’s the only coal power station that will close in the next decade.
“It will be communities everywhere that pay the price if we don’t anticipate and plan for many more power station retirements through the 2020s.
“These closures have been coming a long time. Governments should be able to see it coming. The solutions for a clean and modern energy system are on the table. Why is Malcolm Turnbull pressing the panic button and trying to keep coal power stations open?”
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
Office: (03) 9341 8112 Mobile: 0402 512 121