Diverting renewable energy funds to coal projects is costly, will increase emissions, and exacerbate climate change, the Climate Council warns.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said news the Federal Government wants to enable the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to fund coal plants with carbon capture and storage is a waste of money.
“Even the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted in his National Press Club address in February that we’ve coughed up $590 million on so-called clean coal yet there is nothing to show for it,” Ms McKenzie said.
“The CEFC was designed to invest in commercially sound renewable energy and emissions reducing projects, and it should stay this way. The CEFC have shown wind and solar plants provide a positive return on investment as well as actually reducing emissions and creating jobs.”
Coal power plants with carbon capture and storage are notoriously bad investments. There are only two such power plants operating worldwide, which have cost billions of dollars and required huge government subsidies to build.
“All of these coal projects produce electricity at vastly more expensive levels than renewables can do today. Renewable energy is already cheaper than coal and gas and costs continue to fall.”
“It is truly bizarre to use funds earmarked for clean energy to prop up polluting coal. The CEFC is a highly professional independent body investing in renewable energy and generating a return for taxpayers. Why the government would intervene to put public money into a technology that even the coal industry only minimally invests in beggars belief,” Ms McKenzie said.
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