New coal plants even more unreliable

Australia’s newest coal plants, including ‘supercritical’ or so-called ‘High Efficiency, Low Emissions’ generators, have higher breakdown rates per gigawatt than older power stations, according to new research from The Australia Institute’ Climate & Energy Program.

“Australia already has supercritical coal plants. They break down even more often, gigawatt for gigawatt, than our old clunker coal plants,” says Richie Merzian, Director of The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program.

“These new supercritical coal plants are touted by proponents as ‘High Efficiency, Low Emissions’ (HELE) coal plants, but this could not be further from the truth.

“Our research shows that not only are these coal plants less reliable, but they are more emissions-intensive than renewable energy and even gas.

“Calls to build new supercritical coal plants in Australia are ill-advised.

“If the government builds new coal plants in Victoria, burning brown coal, these would produce higher emissions than most of our existing coal generators.

“Despite being newer, supercritical coal plants have the worst record of all Australia’s coal plants when it comes to generating electricity for the grid.

“With so much new renewable energy being added to the national grid, there is no place for new, unreliable coal plants in Australia — let alone with taxpayer money or government intervention, as coal advocates have proposed.”

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