Fall in coal-fired power shows that climate policies are working Media Release

Oct 17, 2012 - 11:30am

Recent reductions in black coal and brown coal generation show that Australia’s climate and clean energy policies are working not only to reduce emissions and grow renewable energy, but also to provide a buffer to rising gas prices, said The Climate Institute today. 

“With scale backs at Yallourn and Tarong, Australia’s carbon and renewable energy laws are doing their job in lowering carbon pollution from the electricity sector by encouraging clean energy generation,” said John Connor, CEO The Climate Institute. “Yallourn, Tarong and other coal-fired generators that are being scaled back or closed down are examples of less efficient, more polluting generation."

“Contrary to claims made today, not only does the Renewable Energy Target lower emissions, it also diversifies our energy mix and contributes to long-term energy security and lower cost clean energy. The bubble of yet another attempted price scare campaign on the impacts of the renewable energy target has been burst today by research released today by the Australian Industry Group showing the potential for gas prices to triple because of export linkages.” 

He added: “Modelling used by some coal fired generators claiming to show the costs of the renewable energy target shows that without the renewable target eastern Australia would be significantly more reliant on gas. However, the modelling doesn’t reveal the additional costs that this could impose.” 

According to a report released today by Ai Group and PACIA, gas prices in eastern Australia could triple, affecting prices by several times the amount of the carbon price. 

“One of the many benefits of the renewable energy target is that it reduces the exposure of Australian businesses and households to higher fuel and carbon costs," Connor said. 

“Arbitrarily changing the renewable energy target, as a few fossil-fuel generators have called for, would lead to higher costs not just for fuel and carbon, but also through the cost impacts of policy uncertainty and the consequent risk and financial impairment of existing investments," he added. 

"Such a change would also threaten the diversification of Australia’s energy portfolio, necessary in the long term to both energy security and the cost-effective achievement of climate goals. Australia’s climate policies are beginning to work and are making a difference to our carbon pollution."

For more information  

Kristina Stefanova | Communications Director, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299

Earlier this week Creative Fellow Michael Hall blogged about an iconic image he took at Yallourn. You can see that blog and image here

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