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Too soon? Energy Australia must go harder on coal closure

If Energy Australia wants to be considered a responsible corporate citizen, it must shut its coal-fired power plants by 2030 at the latest.  

Energy Australia today committed to ending all coal-fired power generation by 2040, which means Mt Piper will shut two years earlier than previously forecast. [1] 

“Under these plans announced, Mt Piper Power station will keep burning coal until 2040,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

“That means the plant will emit up to 115 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 19 years, double the amount New Zealand emits every year. 

“We welcome today’s announcement, but if Energy Australia wants to be considered a responsible corporate citizen it’s got to go much further and commit to existing coal by 2030. 

Mr Gambian said today’s announcement made the need for economic transition planning for Lithgow even more urgent. 

“No one seriously thinks this is the last time Energy Australia will revise Mt Piper’s closure date because the economics of coal-fired power generation get worse every day,” he said. 

“Energy analysts this year predicted Mt Piper would be unprofitable by 2025 as the cost of wind, solar and battery power plummets. [2] 

“Anyway, company profits are a side show to the main event.  

“Climate scientists and the United Nations have made it perfectly clear that we can’t burn coal for power beyond 2030 and keep the climate safe.” 

References  

[1] Securing Mt Piper’s future fact sheet, Undated, Energy Australia  

[2] Fast Erosion of Coal Plant Profits in the National Electricity Market, February 2021, IEEFA  

 

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