Renewables on track to replace almost 80% of coal by 2030, coal barons that don’t act in line are ‘downright stupid’
SYDNEY, Dec 10 2021: Big energy companies and governments must urgently plan for the early closure of Australia’s coal-burning power stations under the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) draft Integrated System Plan (ISP) released today , says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
Under AEMO’s “Step Change” scenario, all of Victoria’s brown coal power stations and two-thirds of all black coal power stations would be closed by 2032 while all coal power stations would be closed by 2032 under the “Hydrogen Superpower” scenario.
Glenn Walker, Senior Coal Campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said the Morrison Government and big polluting energy companies like AGL need to start urgent planning now for the early retirement of coal.
“The most authoritative forecasting of Australia’s National Electricity Market has coal-burning power stations closing almost three times faster than previously anticipated. The renewable energy revolution has arrived, with cheap solar and wind power pushing dirty coal and gas out of the energy system at ever increasing rates,” he said.
“The big energy companies and the Morrison Government urgently need to get their heads out of the sand and face the reality that Australia’s dirty, polluting and increasingly unreliable coal-burning power stations need to close within the decade. There are huge opportunities for local power station communities to be at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution, but this can only be fully realised if planning starts now.
“AGL, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, can no longer pretend it can mine and burn coal out to 2048, as is currently planned. It’s downright stupid and only serves to financially damage the company and waste precious time for local communities to plan for change.
“Similarly, the Federal Government’s preference to play dumb climate politics hurts local power station communities and consumers most. Scott Morrison talks about Australia becoming a hydrogen superpower, but it’s now clear from AEMO’s modelling that this means we need to phase out coal by 2030. If his government wants to walk the talk on climate action and the hydrogen economy, it needs to get on board with a clear plan for early coal power station retirement.”
Households are demanding cleaner energy and faster action on climate change and businesses are responding by flocking to renewable energy, with major companies including Telstra, Woolworths, Coles and Bunnings now committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025. Heavy industry is also moving fast to decarbonise, with plans afoot to power Australia’s energy-intensive aluminium smelters with renewable energy by 2030.
AEMO’s ISP is the most authoritative forecasting of Australia’s National Electricity Market, guiding both policy and investment decisions.