AGL coal plants’ early closure shows government needs to embrace clean-energy future

AGL’s announced early closure of two coal power stations shows the transition away from fossil fuels is happening faster than expected

10 February 2022

  • Green exports could bring in $333 billion/year by 2050 with govt support

  • Green export industries will be boon for our regional energy centres

  • Government should back supergrids to power Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts

AGL’s announcement today of the early closure of its Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal power stations shows that the transition away from fossil fuels is happening faster than expected and the government needs to act fast to secure long-term jobs for regional workers.

“Our research has shown that our regional centres could not only survive but thrive in the zero-emissions economy with government support, coordination and funding,” said Beyond Zero Emissions chief executive Heidi Lee.

“Australia could grow a new green export market worth $333 billion a year by 2050 by developing Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts in our regional industrial centres to produce the goods needed for the zero-emissions economy – green steel, green aluminium, renewable hydrogen and ammonia, critical minerals and batteries to the world. They already have the skilled workforce but they need massive expansion of renewable energy production.

“Companies such as AGL – which plans to develop a renewable energy hub at its Bayswater and Liddell power station sites – are already planning for the future but cannot do it alone. They need the Federal Government to set ambitious clean export targets, fund Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts, and establish a Supergrid Deployment Authority to power them.

“The Hunter has the skilled workforce, infrastructure including roads, rail freight and port, to make a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct a reality. Our modelling shows that a Hunter REIP would create 34,000 new local jobs in new industries by 2032, attract new capital investment of $28 billion and generate $11 billion in revenue per annum by 2032.”

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