Carbon Price Response: Retired Coal Plants Should Be Replaced With Renewables

Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes the Government, Greens and Independents carbon price package which starts the process of Australia's transition from a 19th century fossil fuel dominated economy to a 21st Century renewable energy cleantech economy.

The announcement that 2000MWe of coal-fired power generation will be closed down by tender is welcome.

The government should not be paying out too much for assets which were purchased by businesses that failed to do due dilligence on the environment and market in which these facilities would be operating.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director Matthew Wright says:  

“We have known for years that coal and gas causes climate change. So any significant government money put into this compensation for big polluters is a potential rip off of the Australian public.”

To ensure the best climate change outcome the 2000MWe of retired brown coal installations must not be replaced by fossil gas. Not only does gas electricity generation cause climate change but produces fugitive emissions such as methane causes almost as much if not more damage than coal.

“Gas is pollution. Increased gas-fired generation means more Coal Seam Gas and more fugitive emissions. Australia would be better off closing 1000MWe of coal and building 1000MWe of renewables than replacing coal installations with 2000MWe of fossil gas (CSG or conventional)," said Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright adds:

“Let's go the whole hog and replace 2000MWe equivalent annual output of coal-fired power generation, with 2000MWe of baseload solar power such as the Torresol Gemasolar plant that was dispatching electricity 24-hours a day during the last week. It is the first of many solar thermal plants that operate 24 hours a day producing baseload electricity.”

Contact: Matthew Wright, Executive Director, +61 421 616 733