Australia’s most polluting power station, Hazelwood, is set to become the 9th coal-fired power station to close its doors, as the nation’s transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy continues.
Climate Councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock, responsible for overseeing development of the last three large gas power stations built on the east coast, said the closure of Hazelwood’s ageing, inefficient and polluting plant will serve as an important milestone in the transition to smart, clean and affordable renewables.
“Hazelwood is very old. Its closure is not a surprise and has long been expected, with the plant’s latest owner, Engie, getting out of coal power globally,” he said.
“It is important to recognize this is another step in Victoria’s and Australia’s transition to a zero emissions economy,” the Climate Councillor said.
Stock called on Federal and State Governments and industry to ensure serious planning and timely investments take place to ensure supply security for the Victorian grid going forward.
“This closure has been expected for years. More investments in renewable power and storage in Victoria must be implemented now to help ensure the nation gets our pollution down and builds an energy system for the future.
“Coal power stations will continue to close around the nation as they become uneconomic and their productive lifetimes expire. Australia has one of the oldest, most polluting and most inefficient coal fleets in the world. A national plan can smooth the transition, otherwise we will see disruption and coal generation closes.
Climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the closure of Hazelwood was absolutely necessary in order for Australia to seriously tackle climate change, and meet our international commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“Hazelwood is Australia’s dirtiest power plant, producing around 2.8% of the country’s emissions. This means that by closing Hazelwood, we will reduce Australia’s annual emissions by between 5 million (if replaced with black coal) and 15 million tonnes (if replaced with renewables) per year,” he said.
“This is the next step in making that transition from outdated and polluting energy to a smart 21st century energy system, fit to serve our growing population and supply demands while simultaneously tackling climate change.”
Professor Steffen said government leadership was now necessary to provide strong, integrated climate and energy policy to encourage investment in the renewable energy sector and put the brakes on Australia’s rising pollution.
“Politicians must accelerate the transition to renewables instead of blocking it. We need policy certainty and government support for clean technology because the market clearly hasn’t been able to do it on its own.”
PRESS OPPORTUNITY TODAY: THURSDAY, MARCH 23 at 10:30AM AEDT
WHERE: Parliament House (steps outside), Spring Street, Melbourne.
- Energy expert and Climate Councillor, Andrew Stock
- Climate scientist Climate Councillor, Professor Will Steffen
- Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie
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