Time to Plan for and Support Early Coal Phase Out

Statement in response to draft Integrated System Plan 2022 from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

“The energy market operator has finally mapped out an ambitious energy future aligned with the Paris Agreement. The plan aims to rapidly phase out coal power while increasing energy supply to help electrify everything like our cars, homes and industries. Now Australian Governments need to get on board,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.

“We have the blueprint for how Australia can operate a coal power-free grid in a little over a decade. We can now drop the farce, once and for all, that coal power stations will operate to their full retirement age.

“The last thing anyone wants is to see a repeat of the disruptive Hazelwood closure. Coal generators in Victoria are now obligated to give 5 years notice before retiring. The notice period is 3 years elsewhere. It is time to stop talking in hushed tones and behind closed doors about the retirement of coal, and start openly discussing and planning early retirements this decade.

“There is a clear need to invest in transmission. Rewiring Australia should be a top post-election priority for whoever forms Government. A clean energy grid requires a modern diversified network and AEMO’s priority projects ought to be funded immediately.”

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