Coal and gas plants break down every fortnight but Berejiklian has no plans to replace coal power

SYDNEY, Feb 6, 2019 - New South Wales’ ageing, unreliable energy infrastructure is pushing up power prices and harming local communities by polluting the air they breath - and yet NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has no plans to replace coal with clean energy, even as Scott Morrison’s government actively pushes to subsidise building dirty coal stations.

Last year NSW’s coal and gas power plants broke down 27 times, more than every two weeks on average, according to The Australia Institute’s Gas and Coal Watch report released today.

“The recent heatwaves provide further proof that coal plants routinely fail at high temperatures. But this report clearly demonstrates something even more damning – New South Wales’ decaying coal fleet is not up to the job even when conditions for them are perfect,” Greenpeace Campaigner, Holly Dawson, said.

“Liddell broke down 11 times last year. It hasn’t magically become any more reliable in 2019. The next shutdown is not far away. Gladys Berejiklian and Opposition Leader Michael Daley need urgently to outline plans to replace our ageing, increasingly unreliable coal-based electricity system with cleaner, more modern and reliable systems.

“The cheapest and easiest way for Berejiklian and Daley to address the reliability gap caused by New South Wales’ clunker coal fleet is to invest at scale in clean, reliable wind and solar energy. We are calling on them to commit to adding at least 4000 MW of large scale solar, wind and storage to the system in the next term of government. This will help reduce costs for families, while also improving reliability and cutting pollution. Daley and Berejiklian should also help households invest in their own little bit of the energy revolution, with household solar.”

Key findings of the Coal and Gas Watch report:

  • NSW gas and coal fired power stations broke down 27 times during 2018 – more than one break down every fortnight.
  • Every coal power station in NSW experienced at least one breakdown.
  • The most breakdowns were experienced at the aging Liddell (11 breakdowns) and Vales Point (five breakdowns) power stations.
  • The new and supposedly ‘state of the art’ Tallawarra gas power station experienced three breakdowns.
  • During the June “energy crisis” last year, over half of NSW’s coal and gas generators were offline while wholesale electricity prices spiked to around $2400 per MWh five times in just one week.

 

Notes:

The heat goes on: breakdowns at gas and coal plants in NSW, 2018

Climate action in NSW: Here’s the plan

 

For interviews:

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan

0424 295 422

[email protected]