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Only one power station in the Hunter/Central Coast region to be profitable by 2025?

Two of the three coal-fired power stations likely to be still running the Hunter and Central Coast regions by 2025 could be worthless stranded assets, new economic analysis shows.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has released a report today that shows Eraring and Vales Point B power stations will be running multi-million dollar annual losses by 2025. [1] 

Only Bayswater is forecast to turn a profit, but that could be as little as $100m a year, $500 million less a year than in 2018.

The analysis echoes comments last week by Australian Energy Security Board Chairperson Kerry Schott who said coal-fired power stations “will probably go four or five years earlier [than their scheduled closure date] because they are not making any money and they may go before that”. [2] 

Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “The people of the Hunter region are being let down by political leaders who have failed to prepare for the inevitable changes facing their community.

“There are huge opportunities beyond coal for the Hunter community, but they will require investment by the government and business.

“The Hunter region can’t reach its post-coal potential alone — it needs substantial support from the state and federal governments. That support is conspicuously lacking.

“Change in our energy systems is gathering pace so coal communities need government help to get on board or they will be left behind.

“Germany created a 40 billion euro fund to help its coal communities develop new economic opportunities, and Poland last week announced a $20b transition package to ensure communities aren’t left stranded . 

“We need something similar to ensure our communities don’t suffer because of the rapid international shift away from coal.

“We call on the NSW and Federal governments to set aside a substantial fund, with billions of dollars to ensure no worker is left high and dry and to create jobs in coal regions.”

References

[1] Fast Erosion of Coal Plant Profits in the National Electricity Market, IEEFA, February 2021. See Figure 1, page 3. 

[2] Coal power stations going broke: Schott, AFR, 16-2-21

 

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