Push from the past: Coal would send Australia backwards
The Climate Council has slammed a fresh push for extending the life of Australia’s ageing and polluting coal-fired power stations, along with new calls to replace existing stations with ‘clean coal’ technology.
The Monash Forum, a group of Turnbull Government backbenchers today signaled their support for the replacement of Australia’s existing coal-fired power stations with so called ‘clean coal’, while also calling for new coal, including the construction of a ‘Hazelwood 2.0’.
Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock slammed the idea, saying the introduction of new coal would ramp up Australia’s alreading rising greenhouse gas pollution levels and see the nation fail to tackle climate change.
“Coal is always polluting, regardless of how it’s branded – whether the technology is “ultra super critical”, “high efficiency low emissions” or “carbon capture and storage,” he said.
“We have already witnessed the South Australian battery step in over summer when ageing and inefficient coal stations failed during severe heatwaves. Why are we putting our faith in old clunkers from last century? Australia must look to the future and modernise its grid through clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.”
Professor Stock also flagged the exorbitant cost of carbon capture and storage systems, with other nations walking away from the unproven technology.
“Just last year America’s largest “clean coal” power station sensationally scrapped future plans to use coal at the site, after its operational costs skyrocketed by more than double, reaching around $7.5 billion (US).”
Professor Stock said Australia’s transition to a future powered by clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage is already underway, driven by the renewable energy target and state and territory policies.
“By 2040, 70% of the coal fleet in the National Electricity Market will be 50 years or older, the transition to renewables and storage is more important than ever,” he said.
“In order to tackle climate change, the electricity sector needs to cut its carbon pollution by more than 60 per cent over the next decade and head towards zero pollution. Renewables plus storage is how we can do it.”
Source: Climate Council – media release
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