The Victorian government’s agreement with AGL to close Loy Yang A power station by 2035 increases certainty for renewable investors and the local community while adding urgency to the clean energy roll-out, Environment Victoria said today.
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said:
“The Andrews government went to the last election with a plan to replace coal in Victoria by 2035 and now they have secured agreements with two of the three remaining power stations.
“Locking in a deadline with AGL for closing Loy Yang A sends an enticing signal to renewable investors about the opportunities in Victoria.
“Nonetheless, 2035 is still too late to be burning coal if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming. After the hottest July on record, it is incumbent on AGL and the Victorian government to do everything in their power to ensure that Loy Yang can close even sooner.
“This agreement with the Victorian government does appear to allow Loy Yang A to close sooner than 2035, but that is dependent on enough energy supply coming from other sources – which will be renewable.
“It’s another urgent reminder that governments need to fast track the rollout of renewable energy to cut emissions as rapidly as possible.
Friends of Latrobe Water spokesperson Tracey Anton said:
“The agreement throws up more questions than answers which will require the Victorian government to be more transparent about the details of the deal.
“We still have little information or certainty about ongoing use of coal extraction from the pit or the proposed coal to hydrogen project as this will delay rehabilitation. These are valid questions due to AGL’s current Development Licence Application currently sitting with EPA to expand the coal ash landfill for 19 years and management of the existing contaminated groundwater plume.”
Environmental Justice Australia Senior Specialist Lawyer, Charley Brumby-Rendell said:
“While we welcome news that the Victorian government and AGL plan to support workers, we’re concerned there is a serious lack of certainty around mine rehabilitation.
“Any meaningful transition agreement must include plans for the future of the Loy Yang mine site. Right now, it’s a gigantic gaping mine pit with highly toxic coal ash dumps.
“AGL has made record profits from digging this giant hole. Next it needs to clean up the mess – not burden yet another generation of Latrobe Valley families with environmental and health problems.”
Alex Merory, Communications Manager