Media Releases | 13th Aug, 2019

Vic 50% renewables target builds supply before likely coal closures

The Andrews government’s announcement of legislation to increase Victoria’s renewables target is welcome as coal power stations are likely to close early, Environment Victoria said today.

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The government will today introduce a Bill to increase Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 50 percent by 2030.

“The Victorian Renewable Energy Target has driven a construction boom in renewable energy across Victoria, boosting local jobs, cutting pollution and adding drought-proof income for many farmers,” said Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.

“With recent speculation that Victorian coal power stations could close much earlier than expected, we need to build more renewable energy and storage ahead of time to ensure the energy transition is as smooth as possible.”

The news comes as the CEO of Alinta Energy, which owns Loy Yang B power station in Victoria, told the media that coal power would “really struggle to be around” in the early 2030s.

“Signing into law a minimum of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 is an important step from the Andrews government, but we should be aiming to go much higher,” said Dr Aberle.

“Burning coal is by far the biggest source of climate pollution in the state, with the three remaining coal power stations causing 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in Victoria.”

“The IPCC has made it clear that developed countries should stop burning coal by 2030 if we are to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.”

“As our energy system shifts to cleaner sources, we need to ensure regional communities stand to benefit from the ongoing renewable energy boom, which will bring thousands of jobs and billions in investment.”

“We also need to ensure the Latrobe Valley can have a thriving future beyond coal. The Andrews government should commit to extending the funding of the Latrobe Valley Authority, which is doing important work to support the re-skilling of coal workers and to bring new economic opportunities to the region.”

For interview and further comment

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Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
Office: (03) 9341 8112 Mobile: 0402 512 121