Why a new gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri makes zero sense

20.05.21 By
This article is more than 2 years old

The Morrison Government has announced it will commit up to $600 million of public funds to a new gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri, in the New South Wales Hunter Valley. 

The Government is utilising ‘sneaky,’ unallocated funding from the Federal Budget to put public money towards the 660 megawatt open cycle gas turbine, which will be built by the government-owned company Snowy Hydro Limited.

This is a gas-fired power station. Gas is a fossil fuel. Any new fossil fuels are locking us in for catastrophic climate impacts. Building a government-owned gas power station in the middle of a climate crisis is the equivalent of asking the Australian public to jump onto a sinking ship without a safety raft.

What’s more, this announcement came on the very same day as the International Energy Agency advised there can be no new gas, coal, or oil projects if the world is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Federal Government is yet again isolating itself from the international community.

So why is the Kurri Kurri power station such a bad idea? Contrary to the Government’s claims, gas is both expensive and unnecessary. We have a reliable alternative and—unlike gas—it’s not an internationally-condemned fossil fuel: renewable energy combined with battery storage.

The Kurri Kurri power station itself will be running just two to three per cent of the time. The Government could be spending $600m on harnessing wind and solar—renewable resources Australia has in spades.

The economic argument doesn’t stack up either: gas is more expensive than existing alternatives. Economic experts have labelled gas an all-round terrible investment. The chair of the Energy Security Board has said that a taxpayer-funded gas-fired power station in the Hunter Valley makes little commercial sense, given there are cheaper alternatives like wind, solar, big batteries, and pumped hydro already available.

This gas power station will drive up power prices, discourage private investment in clean energy and create very few jobs.

Australia doesn’t need new gas. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated System Plan shows that we can rapidly transition our national energy grid straight from coal to renewables without any new gas.

We’ll be out in the media fighting back against this waste of taxpayer funds and we’ve developed a rapid response strategy to discredit gas.

Chip in a tax deductible donation today to make this campaign happen – and give us a fighting chance against the Federal Government’s pandering to the fossil fuel industry and complete disregard for the future of Australia.

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