AEMO report damns Turnbull; Liddell a stranded asset: Bandt

AEMO report damns Turnbull; Liddell a stranded asset: Bandt  

Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said the energy market operator reports released yesterday and today are a damning indictment of the government's war on renewables, reinforcing that more coal will hold back cheaper new generation and push up prices and pollution.

“The network operator has identified the cost of the Coalition’s war on renewables, telling us that there may be a shortfall this summer and again in a few years' time. Fortunately, the lights can still stay on without having to subsidise coal-fired power stations,” said Mr Bandt.

“Extending the life of coal-fired power stations will only make climate change worse and push up power bills.

"Dealing with the growth of renewables by subsidising coal is like dealing with the growth of the internet by subsidising fax machines.

"Anyone who buys Liddell will end up with a stranded asset.

“We need to close the equivalent of one coal-fired power station a year to meet the targets we signed up to in Paris, but that needs the kind of plan the network operator is begging for and that the government has failed to deliver.”

“The network operator has said power shortfalls could be met in a variety of ways, including getting big power users to shift the times they switch their plants on, but the government just wants more coal.

“It is clear that Liddell can still close in 2022 as planned without affecting supply, provided that 'additional renewable generation [is] developed to deliver a national renewable generation outcome' and that the planned deployment of renewables isn’t threatened.

“It could cost billions to retrofit the aging Liddell power station for at most an additional 5 years' life, money that could be spent on renewables and storage that will last for decades.

“Using public money to prop up Liddell power station will drive up pollution and power bills, threaten new investment in renewables and offer false hope to workers and communities.

"Instead of verballing Australia's biggest power company, the government should be repairing the damage it has done to energy investment by putting in place a real target to drive renewables.

“Today, we’re introducing a motion in the Senate supporting the planned closure of Liddell in 2022 and calling on the government to abandon any attempts at extending its life, as well as to plan for an orderly retirement of coal-fired power stations. We’re calling on Labor to join us and reject this government’s ideological obsession with coal.

Media contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054

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