Summer Blackouts Linked to Fossil Fuels

22.08.19 By

If Victoria experiences blackouts this summer it is likely to be because of coal fired power stations.

“A large share of Victoria’s electricity is supplied by coal-fired clunkers. They broke down last summer, they’re broken down now, and they could break down again this summer,” said the Climate Council’s Senior Researcher, Tim Baxter.

His comments follow the release of an annual statement by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that assesses a range of scenarios that may affect the country’s electricity supply.

The Electricity Statement of Opportunities is a tool to assess possible shortfalls in supply. The statement looks at issues including extreme heat in summer, breakdowns at ageing coal power stations and how much new generation is being built.

“Both Victoria and NSW have coal power stations that are old and inefficient. Climate change is driving more extreme weather, including heatwaves, which puts more pressure on the power stations,” said Mr Baxter.

“We’ve traditionally seen a major scare campaign following the release of AEMO’s annual statement. The reality is that Australia’s power supply is generally reliable. Renewables are also reliable. The weakest link in the system is our old, coal fired power stations,” he said.

“The AEMO report affirms why a modern grid powered by diverse renewable energy and storage is critical to providing reliable, clean and affordable power for Australians. We need more supply from large-scale renewables like solar and wind and we need more large scale storage, like batteries.”

“The Victorian Government has a plan to transition to 50% renewables by 2030, reducing the state’s reliance on its three ageing coal power stations. NSW should follow Victoria’s lead. It currently has no plan to increase its share of renewables,” he said.

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