The early closure of Eraring power station demonstrates the need for an organised transition out of coal at a national level.
According to Origin Energy, “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations are being put under increasing, unsustainable pressure by cleaner and lower cost generation, including solar, wind and batteries.”
“The Eraring power station closure shows coal power is finding it increasingly difficult to compete in the electricity market. These decisions are entirely economic and the closures inevitable. Rather than be taken by surprise by ad-hoc announcements such as this and AGL’s Loy Yang announcement last week, Australia needs to be prepared,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute.
“There are thousands of workers in Australian coal fired power stations. They deserve certainty. Australian policymakers need to be planning to look after communities and workers in coal power regions, rather than selling false hope by trying to prop up a dying industry.
“Renewable energy is here right now. Just yesterday over $100 billion in clean energy projects were proposed for the Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone.
“There are excellent examples overseas that Australia could draw on to harness the growing opportunity to invest in regional Australia and continue the tradition of regional Australia being the energy source for the nation. Germany has done it, with a plan that involving communities, industry and government – there is no reason Australia can’t follow suit.
“The Energy Security Board (ESB) could have initiated this planned approach at a national level. Unfortunately, it has chosen to prop up coal instead of delivering on its mandate, which was to design the future national electricity market to be secure and reliable without coal.”