Today’s promise by Matthew Guy to build a new power station if the Liberal-Nationals win the upcoming election has been slammed by the state’s leading environment charity Environment Victoria for having no regard for carbon pollution or climate change.
The Victorian Coalition this morning promised to build a new ‘baseload’ 500 MW power station in their long-awaited energy plan which could require public subsidies for the construction of coal or gas-fired power generation that Victoria doesn’t need, and subsidising the ongoing operation of the Latrobe Valley’s polluting coal-burning power stations.
“When Matthew Guy says baseload, it’s clear that he means coal or gas. This policy reads as though its been written by the fossil fuel industry,” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.
“Building a new gas or coal fired power station to run 24/7, even when we’ve got more than enough power from renewables, is a dangerous, expensive response to a problem that doesn’t exist. It drags us back into the past and away from a cheap, clean energy future.
“By requiring new electricity generation to be ‘baseload’ and not setting any emissions standard, Mr Guy is showing he has an antiquated understanding of Australia’s electricity market.
“The cheapest, cleanest and smartest way to run a power grid in 2018 is not through building baseload gas or coal but by building renewable energy with battery firming.
“The Liberals’ plan could see 500 MW of dirty generation built instead of 5500 MW of clean, renewable energy generation as would happen under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, which Mr Guy plans to scrap. The Liberals’ energy plan will mean higher power bills and more pollution.
“It is staggering that Matthew Guy seems perfectly happy to build a new power station with zero regard for how much climate pollution it produces.
“Matthew Guy seems intent on ignoring climate change. These are not the policies or promises of a responsible leader.
“The Victorian Liberals have voted against stronger climate laws, consistently objected to plans to increase renewable energy and vowed to keep polluting coal power stations open as long as possible. This is yet another Liberal policy that is environmentally reckless.
“We saw in the Wentworth by-election that the threat of climate change is at the forefront of voters’ minds. It is clear now that Mr Guy will be going to the polls without a credible climate policy and with an energy plan only Tony Abbott could be proud of.
“Victorians deserve better, and we need our next state government to treat global warming as the serious threat to our state’s prosperity and wellbeing that it is,” said Mr Wakeham.
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
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