AGL Loy Yang A generator fault highlights fundamental failure of dirty and unreliable coal

SYDNEY, April 20 2022 - The announcement that AGL, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, suffered a generator fault at its Loy Yang A coal-burning power station which could cause an outage until 1 August 2022 highlights the risk of running unreliable, dirty coal-burning power stations, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

In the past five years alone, AGL has spent $1.7 billion on maintenance for its coal and gas generators, restricting investment in renewable energy growth [1]. This generator fault is the latest in a series of failures at the rapidly crumbling Loy Yang A, which has experienced a unit trip or break down 47 times in the last five years [2].

Glenn Walker, Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner, said AGL and federal energy minister Angus Taylor have stalled coal closure under the guise of reliability, however this latest Loy Yang A fault shows that this is a fallacy and coal is not only dirty and dangerous, but expensive and increasingly unreliable.

“AGL’s entire argument to continue burning dirty coal well beyond the date needed to ensure a safer climate is based on a false assumption around ensuring energy market reliability. How can they expect Loy Yang A to run all the way to 2045 when they can barely make it work in 2022?

“The company is limping towards a dodgy demerger which clearly makes no environmental or financial sense and is simply a ploy to hide its broken, failing coal-burning power stations. AGL’s latest generator fault is simply more evidence of this fact.

“This is yet another indictment of the failure of AGL’s leadership, who continue to demonstrate an outdated, evidence-free obsession with burning dirty and unreliable coal.

“Given coal-burning power stations offer no environmental, reliability, or financial benefits, AGL must provide certainty to its employees and investors, and work with government to develop a plan to replace its dirty coal-burning power stations with renewables by 2030,” he said.

AGL plans to continue burning coal at Loy Yang A until 2045 far beyond the timeline needed to ensure a safer climate, with the UN and International Energy Agency both warning that Australia’s coal power stations must close by 2030 to ensure a safer climate and economic  future for our country.

ENDS

Notes

[1] https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5fb304fb74a5527435ec0d68/t/6216b899befbd34a908aec7a/1645656224372/240222+Transition+AGL+Presentation++Snowcap.pdf

[2] https://coalimpactsindex.com.au/coal-index/?_sft_category=breakdowns&_sft_post_tag=loy-yang-a&sf_paged=5

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