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Australia: all eggs in renewables basket?

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
World Coal,

As reported by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the coal industry has expressed concern regarding reports that the Finkel review may rule out the building of modern coal fired power stations and push Australia to focus solely on solar, wind and gas.

Coal fired generation is currently the cheapest and most reliable electricity source in Australia.

An energy blueprint that strays away from coal generation or deliberately excludes its contribution in the future means higher prices and less reliable electricity for everyday Australians, industry and businesses.

Despite some early commentary about the report, it is not a technology neutral approach to devise an arbitrary emission threshold test, especially one based on narrow point source emissions and not life-cycle methodology, the MCA wrote.

Coal should not be deliberately cast aside coal from the energy mix especially as it is well placed to compete on merit and deliver on the Prime Minister’s correctly identified priorities of affordability, reliability and low emissions.

Looking to the future, modern super-efficient coal plants could still figure prominently and remain the mainstay of the country’s electricity system alongside other energy technologies.

Both Japan and Germany anchor their electricity production with affordable, reliable and low emission coal generation, as do the fast-growing economies of Asia with some 1200 high efficiency low emissions (HELE) units under construction or planned in the region.

Australia also has access to the highest quality coal, so to ignore, the MCA argues, would be ill advised.

Modernisation of systems must ensure grid stability and keep energy costs as affordable as possible, or risk serious economy-wide implications. As the adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage technologies increases, emissions savings will increase to 90%. These options need to be part of the future energy mix and should be supported and guided by Government policy making.


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Australia coal news Clean coal news