Environment Victoria has welcomed the announcement that the last of three coal processing projects promised public money in 2014 has now officially failed, just a week after state and federal governments committed $50 million each to a coal-to-hydrogen plant.
In 2014, three companies, including Coal Energy Australia, were awarded funding of $20-30 million each under the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program. This was jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments. None of the projects made any progress.
Quotes attributable to Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle:
“The failure of the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program to produce even one viable brown coal project should be a signal that it is time to move beyond this polluting and outdated resource.
“Coal Energy Australia’s project not going ahead will save Victoria 2.2 million tonnes of climate pollution and free up $30 million of public funding to spend on projects that are actually capable of creating sustainable jobs in the Latrobe Valley.
“The history of failed brown coal projects should tell us that its time to focus on the real resources in the Latrobe Valley – the people and their skills – not what’s under the ground.
“Every time a proposed coal project is announced, it creates a distraction from the real task of creating a truly diverse and sustainable economy in the region.
“Last week’s announcement of a proposed coal-to-hydrogen plant is just another example of raising false hopes that the Valley’s future lies with coal. Coal-to-hydrogen is highly polluting and will be superseded by clean hydrogen from renewable energy.
“The next investment the government makes in the Latrobe Valley should be ensuring clean energy projects are built there under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and massively increasing the scale of home retrofit programs. This helps our energy system, helps people cut their power bills, and cuts climate pollution.”
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
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