AGL is failing regional communities with tardy coal closure timelines

10 February 2022: Energy giant AGL has failed regional communities with today’s tardy coal closure announcement and must accelerate its transition to become a renewable energy provider to ensure certainty for workers and investors, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Glenn Walker, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that AGL must enable regional energy hubs to capitalise on the opportunities of the energy transition and develop a managed plan to replace Loy Yang A and Bayswater power stations with renewables by 2030.

“Australia is moving at lightning speed towards renewables, which have driven Australia’s electricity prices down to rank amongst the cheapest in the world, but by continuing to cling to coal all the way to 2045 for Loy Yang A, and 2033 for Bayswater coal power station,, AGL is delaying the transition of the country’s key energy regions,” he said.

“AGL’s tardy efforts simply aren’t good enough, and every delay creates more risk that the company will make a catastrophic crash out of coal, as market pressures close in on coal power. AGL must work with government to develop a managed transition plan to close Loy Yang A and Bayswater by 2030 to provide certainty for workers and investors.”

“The Latrobe and Hunter Valleys, with their skilled energy workforces, are the best placed regions in the country to capitalise on the renewable revolution, but coal companies like AGL must commit to a timely transition. ”

Majority community support for swifter coal closures has been revealed in the latest Essential national poll, commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, which has found that 60% of Australians think that coal companies and governments should work together to close Australia’s coal-burning power stations as soon as possible.

The UN and International Energy Agency have both warned that Australia’s coal power stations must close by 2030 to ensure a safer climate and economic future for our country. In addition, the Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO) forecasts that it is likely that brown coal will exit Australia’s energy system by 2032 at the latest, meaning that AGL’s announcement today puts it still behind the pace of the energy transition.

Glenn Walker said that regional communities are primed and ready to take advantage of renewable energy opportunities.

“Regional communities accept that renewables are better for the economy and the climate, and that a bright future lies ahead. AGL must get on with the job and work with government to ensure that the energy powerhouses of the Hunter and Latrobe Valleys are supported to thrive in Australia’s renewable transition,” he said.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Fiona Ivits on 0487 003 872 or [email protected]