Coal-fired power stations have an important future in Australia, provided that politicians create the right regulatory environment, according to a submission to a Senate Inquiry released today by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Anti-coal campaigners typically over-exaggerate the decline of coal as an important source of world electricity and completely ignore its essential role in the production of steel ,” said Brett Hogan, Director of Research, in a submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Committee Inquiry into the retirement of coal-fired power stations.
“The international market for both thermal and metallurgical coal is strong, and is likely to remain so for many decades yet. A reduction in Australian coal mining or electricity generation will do nothing to change demand for either commodity or even to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.”
“In just the last 12 months, India alone has installed over 18 gigawatts of new, coal-fired power generation capacity. This is equal to 3 times Victoria’s current, total coal-fired capacity.”
“Closing coal-fired power stations in Australia will only increase the price of electricity and the risk of blackouts. In Germany, where a former Greens Environment Minister once claimed that the cost of the transition to renewables would be no more than ‘a scoop of ice cream,’ electricity prices are now the second-highest in Europe and still growing.”
“Given that the Paris climate change agreement doesn’t actually cut world greenhouse gas emissions, this is all for nothing.”
“Low cost energy is an historic competitive advantage for Australia. When the production of economically viable electricity can also support the employment of thousands of people, particularly in regional Australia, it is a genuine win-win.”
“Electricity systems exist to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to consumers and to businesses. The role of government should be to support competition and private sector innovation in energy markets.”
A copy of the submission, Ensuring a Future for Australian Coal-Fired Power Stations, is available here.
For media and comment: Brett Hogan, Director of Research, Institute of Public Affairs, on 0407 273 884, or at [email protected]
or, Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]