Media Releases | 29th Mar, 2018

Hazelwood closure cuts Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by 10 percent, new report shows

One year since Hazelwood power station closed, new analysis finds Victoria has a reliable electricity system and less climate pollution.

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The research, commissioned by Environment Victoria, shows how Victoria’s electricity system handled the loss of the highly polluting 1600 megawatt (MW) power station over the last 12 months.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:

“The fearmongers were wrong. This analysis shows that our electricity supply held up through a hot summer, while new wind and solar projects in the pipeline will help make our grid cleaner and more stable.

“Closing Hazelwood has slashed Victoria’s climate pollution by 12 million tonnes, which is about 10 percent. It means that we’re cleaning up our act and making progress towards meeting the Andrews government’s target of a 15-20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.

“Nationally, when accounting for how electricity generation changed in other states in response to Hazelwood closing, we avoided 4.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This makes the closure of Hazelwood one of the most significant steps we’ve taken in Australia to tackle global warming.”

The analysis of Victoria’s electricity mix over the last 12 months, carried out by Green Energy Markets, also shows that:

  • The supply side of the electricity system was reliable through a hot summer, despite some commentators trying to spread panic about shortages.
  • Victoria’s electricity consumption continues to fall, driven partly by growth in energy efficiency and rooftop solar.
  • Diesel generators brought in as emergency back-up were never even turned on.
  • Victorian coal power stations failed many times over summer, with multiple large coal units offline simultaneously.
  • The loss of Hazelwood’s capacity meant that Victoria exported less electricity to other states, and at times imported more electricity. Gas generation increased slightly, partly due to Hazelwood’s closure, and partly due to less hydro output.
  • The pipeline of clean energy projects already under construction is expected to generate 4712 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

“We need to continue repowering Victoria with clean energy. We have 1592 megawatts of large-scale wind and solar projects under construction. This will help drive down power prices, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas pollution even further,” said Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.

“There is no denying that Hazelwood’s retirement has posed challenges, but all sides of politics need to work together to manage the transitions facing both our energy sector and the Latrobe Valley, rather than pretending that the remaining coal generators will stay open forever.”

Download the report (PDF) >>

For interview and further comment

nick-aberle-profile-round

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
Mobile: 0402 512 121
n.aberle@environmentvictoria.org.au

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