AGL plans to shut down coal, ‘decarbonise’ generation by 2050

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AGL Energy, one of Australia’s largest utilities and its most polluting, has promised to ramp up investment in  renewable energy capacity and to shut down all of its existing coal plants over the next 35 years, as part of a new plan to decarbonise its generation portfolio by 2050.

AGL’s Greenhouse Gas Policy, released under the guidance of newly appointed CEO Andrew Vesey, marks an apparent turn-around for the company, which in recent years has spent billions on coal assets.


AGL’s Loy Yang A coal power plant in Victoria is Australia’s single largest greenhouse gas emitter

The coal buy-up – which transformed AGL from Australia’s greenest big power retailer, with the lowest emissions intensity, to its blackest – included 4.6GW of coal-fired generators in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley and the 2.2GW Loy Yang A brown coal generator in Victoria, Australia’s biggest single greenhouse gas emitter.

The new policy, however, states AGL will not extend the operating life of any of its existing coal-fired power stations, but rather close them all by 2050.

The company also stated it would not buy any new coal-fired generation capacity, unless it included carbon capture and storage.

Part of that is a statement of the obvious. It is hard to imagine any bank agreeing to finance a new coal-fired generator in Australia. And the pledge to increase renewables is non-specific. AGL Energy, which on Friday installed the last module in its 102MW solar farm in Nyngan, has argued for the renewable energy target to be removed. Well, at least its previous CEO did, and it has yet to publicly change that position.

Environmental NGOs welcomed the announcement as a step in the right direction. However, they also said the decarbonisation of Australia’s grid need to happen quicker, and 50 per cent cuts needed to be achieved by 2030 to help meet global climate goals.

In a statement on Friday, however, new CEO Vesey said the company recognised that it had a key role to play in gradually reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing “secure and affordable” electricity to its 3.8 million-plus household and business customers.

“Australia currently relies significantly on coal and gas to power its homes and industries with 88 per cent of electricity produced from fossil fuels,” Vesey said.

“To support the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to work towards the 2°C goal, companies such as AGL need to take the lead.”

However, there is confusion about what the closure of coal plants actually means. Liddell, for instance, was slated to close in 2017, but AGL may keep it open to 2022 because the Tomago aluminium smelter is likely to continue operations. At least it is no longer talking about extending its life.

An AGL spokesperson also sent this graph to illustrate that Loy Yang A – Australia’s single biggest emitter – was not scheduled to close until 2048, 64 years after its opening. This means AGL Energy is effectively reserving the right to continue operations there for another 33 years.

agl coal closuresThis contrasts with a table supplied by the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (below), which shows that Loy Yang A was scheduled to close in 2035, after 51 years of operation. AGL extended its life by one-third for accounting purposes when it took control in 2012.

oz coal full copyAnalysts say bankers tend to view coal plants as having a 40 year life for financing purposes. They said technical life cycles can be changed with new technology additions. “The theoretical useful lives are rarely what drive things. Its nearly always economic obsolescence. Ie they just become the most expensive
unit in the market,” one told RenewEconomy.

As RenewEconomy has pointed out, analysts have suggested Australia could reach 100 per cent renewables relatively quickly, just by using renewables to replace coal power as it closes.

The new AGL policy also commits the company to improve the GHG efficiency of its operations; to continue to invest in new renewable energy and low-emission technologies; and to provide customers with smart energy solutions, including rooftop solar with storage, and demand management solutions.

To date, AGL says it has 1,766MW of renewable generation capacity, comprising 17 per cent of its total generation portfolio. In its release, the company notes that this makes it the largest ASX-listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in Australia. But considering how far behind the rest of the world Australia is on large-scale renewables – particularly solar – that’s probably not saying much.

nyngan photo

Still, AGL can – for now, at least – boast ownership of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar plant, in the Nyngan project.

The gentailer has also committed to “continue” to advocate for “effective long-term government policy to reduce Australia’s emissions in a manner that is consistent with the long term interests of consumers and investors.”

But climate and green groups note that AGL’s ‘credible’ decarbonisation plans reinforce just how out of touch the Abbott government has become on the issue.

“AGL’s greenhouse gas policy shows the Abbott government is looking in the wrong direction when it comes to Australia’s energy future,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth renewable energy spokesperson.

“The Prime Minister is running out of excuses to delay resolving the Renewable Energy Target impasse. Australians want the RET increased, not axed,”  he said.

The Climate Institute’s Irwin Jackson said it was “welcome and significant” that Australia’s biggest emitter had begun to spell out what credible climate policy might look like.

“We look forward to other power companies disclosing how they’re preparing for decarbonisation,” Jackson said, adding that the “urgent transformation” of Australia’s power supply was hampered unless the Abbott government faced up to the necessary policy challenges.

“We need our electricity to cut its pollution by half by 2030 and reach net zero carbon pollution by 2050,” he said.  

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  • Blair Donaldson

    AGL must be joking

  • Chris Fraser

    I think AGL undersold their potential for closing down MacGen and Loy Yang A before 35 years. (Really, have they given themselves only 35 years to close coal ?) With the cheap investment price of the modern alternatives Loy Yang A will be a creaky old bomb after 64 years.

    • Blair Donaldson

      I know a guy who worked with one of the crews who did some maintenance and upgrades at Hazelwood around 15 years ago. He said it was a dirty, dangerous, rusting hulk back then. it must be a giant white elephant hanging around the neck of its owners. the same can probably be said for most old fossil fuel generators.

      • wideEyedPupil

        They’re positioning in two ways. One a bit of greenwash for a public that is moving away from the Dirty Three to Powershop & Diamond Energy etc and giving AGL feedback when they call up to entice you back. Second to angle for as much cash for clunking coal as they can get out of Govt when it is determined by others that it be closed down. They could be masters of their own destiny but they’ll leave it to others and gouge the taxpayer as much as they can along the way.

        • Chris Fraser

          Precisely. They, and we, need an objective opinion on when to write the thing off, before remediation begins.

      • bongorocks

        I have worked at Hazelwood power station myself. Hazelwood is old, but it is also the most reliable and the most profitable power station in Vic .The Hazelwood power station previous owners International power, they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on referbishing the station ,they’ve spent many millions of dollars alone on a new precipitation system which traps all f the ash particles .
        Anybody today who drive past Hazelwood will see hardly any pollution at all coming out of it’s stacks, actually it’s hard to tell if the power station is running or not.
        So just imagine how stupid it is not to build more new coal fired power stations today
        with all that new clean coal technology that’s available.
        A modern coal fired power station will run as clean as nobody can ever imagine. Stuff the greens and their Bigotry against coal. But as one LNP politician once said that everybody has the right to be a bigot

        • Ricardo K

          Have you got rocks in your bongo? Something is rattling around. Your obsession with ice-powered greenies is a bit weird as well. How many of the Knitting Nannas cook up a spoonful of speed after a long day crocheting Lock The Gate banners, do you think?

          What makes Hazelwood so special that it has an operating life of 64 years when every other coal plant on the list gets closed down after 50 years?

      • bongorocks

        Yea right ,and i’ll bet that the guy you are referring to is a green supporter.

        • Blair Donaldson

          I don’t know what Mike’s political persuasions are, in any case they don’t change the facts.

          • bongorocks

            Then whoever Mike is what was he doing working in Hazelwood. ? He did take the money didn’t he.? Sounds like Mike is a hypocrite.

          • Blair Donaldson

            Of course the Hazlewood owners claim it’s a big cash cow because they can use that justification to claim more compensation when it is forced to close down prematurely. You’re not very bright.

          • bongorocks

            If Hazelwood wasn’t a cash cow then GDF Suez would not have bought it. Books don’t lie .
            Daniel Andrews have already wasted more than half a billion tax payers dollars and destroyed 7,000 jobs in Vic by cancelling the much need freeway in Melbourne.
            If Daniel Andrews keep taking his orders from the greens and Shuts down the Hazelwood power station down ,he will have to fork out at least three billion dollars, and sack at least 700, people, plus the damage that will cause to the LV economy .
            The previous State Vic labor government under Steeve Bracks,and then that green puppet John Brumby ,under green pressure went and wasted many billions of dollars by building Two white elephants,the desalination plant, and the western water pipe, instead of a water storage dam. Both project has been in mothball ever since they were completed ,at an ongoing cost of 3,000,000 dollars a week just to keep the desal plant on stand-by. The problem with that is, that labor hung those white elephant to the Vic people necks. by increasing our water rates bills from 680 annually to 1,900 annually so far just to pay for the two greens white elephants
            Now that Vic is back under a labor government but instead is in control of the greens, the CFMEU, and the crown casino bosses ,Vic is well under way to became the second state to go under ,the other state Tasmania went under decades ago because of green politics.

      • bongorocks

        I also knew two guys who worked with the maintenance contractors at Hazelwood who were both green supporters .I knew them personally. They both got laid off at the same time by the Hazelwood management and were escorted of the Hazelwood site by the police, because they were both found to be ice users, maybe that’s why Mike said that Hazelwood was dangerous.

    • bongorocks

      So what are you saying, that because our parents get old, we should shoot them as soon as they get a bit creacky . ?

      • Blair Donaldson

        You just forfeited the right to be taken seriously.

        • bongorocks

          We have stopped taking your likes seriously ages ago.

      • Chris Fraser

        That’s unusual. Did anyone read something about bongorocks’ parents ?

      • Ricardo K

        Bongo, you’ve provided a classic illustration of the way conservatives confuse people, other living things, inanimate objects and ideas. Corporations are NOT living things. Money does NOT have a heartbeat. And no-one except you has raised the possibility of shooting your parents.

        In the real world, burning soggy brown Victorian coal is one of the nastiest ways to generate electricity.

  • adam

    I think it’s a great thing for them to declare that this is even an imperative.

    It’s a bold move that will make some good waves.

    • Blair Donaldson

      I hope you are right Adam but I don’t believe anything that comes from AGL. They have form on saying one thing and doing something else entirely different. Let’s hope the company had turned over a new leaf.

      • bongorocks

        Country people are sick and tiered of being told what to do, and how to live ,and what jobs they should have, by the City based green politicians.
        Clean your city pollution first ,then the country people might believe that you are serious. .

        • Blair Donaldson

          For all but six months of my life, I have lived in South Gippsland, not that you are interested in facts or evidence. Maybe if you stopped making baseless assumptions and blaming environmentalists for everything that offends you, you might be credible. All you’re doing at the moment is sounding like a shill for the fossil fuel industry.

          • bongorocks

            Typical greenie ,you people like to have it all your own way all the time ,and you hate it when anyone challenges your ideology which is based on nothing but thought bubbles ,bigotry and green political propaganda.
            Nobody in the Latrobe valley are whinging about the coal industry except the few green supporters that nobody takes any notice off.
            You people are the only once who are making baseless assumptions. So Just because I have a different opinion to yours it doesn’t mean that I’m ignorant. It is you who is ignorant because your likes are not just against coal ,but you are also against freedom of speech .Those county people you are referring too have to be greenies, and there isn’t too many of those in the country, most idiots come from the city.
            So go and get stuffed.

  • jim frank

    I’ll have a go. 2030 max. & I’m being generous. The peaks these plants rely on to make a profit will have disappeared. Adam Smith’s invisible hand will take care of the rest. AGL should be guided by what has already happened to RWE & E.ON in Europe.

  • Kambiz Fatehi

    Now the time has come to say that to produce clean energy more powerful
    than atomic energy:

    Which one is better now (E=mc2) or (E>P+1at)!

    (E=mc2) in physics

    (E>P+1at) in hydropower

    I could prove that (E>P+1at) is very better than (E=mc2).

    The answer is very simple. You can investigate and judge.

    The new theory of formula (E>P+1at) is the only solution for solve the
    world economical problems!

    The only solution of energy world problem is this new clean energy formula
    (E>P+1at)! This is the free energy formula with its new method (Immersion
    Turbines in depth of sea water). This new formula is means that I could ask to
    hard global hydropower question which no one person could answer it. New
    discover of a clean energy formula to save the planet from destruction and
    reduce the global warming effect on the world (E>P+1at)! When the hard
    global question is answered on hydropower that no scientist has no answer to it
    over the last hundred years!

    It means that the world will change soon and starts a new industrial

    Turn off all fossil and nuclear power plants in the world. It is effect
    easiest to work new clean energy formula normally. Apart from the scientific
    partner, it is quite natural that one does not believe it. The reason is that
    all patents have been the first such. The people of world will be surprised and
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    How can we get clean energy in a best way in the center of globe by the
    weight of highness of water in dams & lakes that this energy makes pressure
    to the center of our planet?


    This is by getting benefit of joint scientific formula (E

    > P + 1at) with immersion turbine method inside the water of dams & lakes.

    scientific new formula and this new method that has been registered
    officially by the Ministry of Justice of Kurdistan Regional Government under
    the No. 952/6 from 12th of June,2013 and it has been accepted officially &
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    subject will obtain clean energy that we can say it is parallel to the attempts
    of Mr. Obama, The president of Unites States of America for Cutting Carbon
    Emissions by 30% by 2030 The importance of this invention is to decrease the
    rate of carbon and decrease the duration from 2030 to downwards.

    The global warming is true and very danger but the important solution is
    discovered! Today is the end time of two world wars: 1- Energy world war 2-
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    P+1at) and the most advanced new method of producing electricity from immersion
    turbines in depth of seas and oceans water. With amazing discover of a new
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    method in depth of sea water is the base of this new model. This invention can
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    Many scientists believe that the discovery of the formula is unparalleled.
    Although many still in shock! How this formula has not be discovered by
    scientists in the world. The project titled (Kurdestan and US clean energy coordination) runs in
    cooperation with the United
    States introduced. Of course, this beautiful
    project after the National Hydropower Association 2015 conference is done in
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    This invention is patented in Department of Justice in Kurdestan of Iraq No.
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    industrial revolution) and (A Kurdish inventor has found a new method for
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    You can call with Mr. Dr. Sherko Jawdat.

    Dr. Sherko Jawdat

    Parliament of Kurdistan-

    Head of Energy & Natural Resources Committee

    Mobile No. 00964-7701562687

    Mr. Dr. Chris Spindler in UF No. 0019043776904

    • bongorocks

      Hell mate.. I wish I was able to understand some of your comment. But i just can’t understand, why if scientists where serious about wanting to save the world. Then why did they invent the atom bomb,? The atom bomb is the real treat to global destruction. And it is written in prophecy.

      • Kambiz Fatehi

        Yes of course. I know very well than all the scientists really. You can have test it. Soon you will be shocked when you see the answer!

        A new answer to president of the United States of America about climate change and global warming
        Note: This new solution and this new formula invention in Iraq and Turkey to formally accepted:
        (Ee>Ep+ E1at) = (E>P+1at)
        What is the most difficult scientific question of global hydroelectric that nobody could the answer to it?
        Now the hard global question!!!!!
        How can we produce clean energy in a best way by the potential of water Static head in dams & seas that this water pressure can push to the center of planet?
        This is by getting benefit of joint scientific formula (E>P+1at) with immersion turbine method inside the water of dams & seas.
        Ee= High pressure clean energy that is produced by the water power plants in the depth of water via released fixed potential energy of water natural pressure (More than ten meters of water) with new method (Immersion turbines of series and parallel in zero resultant forces).
        Ep= Released fixed potential energy of water natural pressure in water depth (More than ten meters of water).
        E1at= Amount of energy that is consumed at a small pump of one atmosphere power is the ability (In the same place of the water power plant in water depth).
        This new method is as like as old method of energy production in dams.
        The difference is that the volumetric capacity of atmosphere can be made with equipment (Boxes cycle of pipes).
        With help of this new formula in any depth of water you can get the powerful clean energy!
        This new method can help us to transfer of volumetric capacity of the atmosphere to the deep water!
        Natural pressure of water in any depth of water can help to exit water in the boxes cycle of pipes that they installed at the same depth (New power plant of developed hydroelectric).
        This new formula and new method will produce cheap energy in the world and they can change the world soon!
        Now this scientific new formula and this new method that has been registered officially by the Ministry of Justice of Kurdistan Regional Government under the No. 952/6 from 12th of June,2013 and it has been accepted officially & scientifically by all relevant ministries of KRG. This important and worldwide subject will obtain clean energy that we can say it is parallel to the attempts of Mr. Obama, The president of Unites States of America for Cutting Carbon Emissions by 30% by 2030 The importance of this invention is to decrease the rate of carbon and decrease the duration from 2030 to downwards.
        I am an environmental researcher and inventor. I could answer of the most difficult question of global hydroelectric. It is normal that you do not believe, but it is true really. For more information: (Only alternative for the future of the human energy that has just been discovered)
        The latest research achievements of water science:
        Discover a new scientific formula of water (Answer of the most difficult question of global hydroelectric):
        Do not worry because new formula discover can solve the world environment problems (Ee>Ep+ E1at). The use of oil and gas has ended really! This new formula works with its new method (Immersion Turbines in depth of sea in zero resultant forces). Thus in power generation, water does not exit from the dams! This is a new industrial revolution in the world. All the scientists in the world are in the shock now. With this great discovery will solve the problem of global warming too. It is a scientific fact. I found the answer a question of science that hundreds of years, scientists are looking for answers. Now the time has come to say that we could find a new theory to produce clean energy more powerful than atomic energy:
        The scientific use of the formula (Ee> Ep+E1at) and the most advanced new method of producing electricity from immersion turbines in depth of seas and oceans water. With amazing discover of a new clean energy formula in depth of water (E>P+1at). The immersion turbine method in depth of sea is the base of this new model. This invention can change the world and it can start a new industrial revolution in the world. Many scientists believe that the discovery of the formula is unparalleled. Although many still in shock! How this formula has not be discovered by scientists in the world. This invention is patented in Department of Justice in Kurdestan of Iraq No. 952/6 on 12/6/2013. You can read the articles of (Change the world with Kurdistan ’s industrial revolution) and (A Kurdish inventor has found a new method for electricity production under water).
        Now the earth moves toward destruction. Concerns all the scientists and the people is absolutely true. Fortunately, the new formula has been discovered. This formula is the only hope to stop the cycle of human destruction of the planet. This formula is now in the hands of people that hope to survive. The answer of world hard question on hydroelectric have been answered! Then from this time, everything is simple. The cost of building the power plant is very low. The new power plant works with water and air play in depth of water and seas. The amount of energy in proportion to the quality of the installation and the amount of water input and output of the system is different. When the new method began to work! All methods and systems for energy production in the world will change. This is unbelievable and this is perfectly normal. All clean energy industries are driven by new hydroelectric. This means that millions of megawatt hours of electricity produced free. One of the new methods used in industrial preservation and protection of the marine creatures. All systems are protective filter. Air is injected to increase the dissolved oxygen in the sea and the sea is refined. My new formula and new method can change the world and start a new industrial revolution soon.
        I do not have to navigate on the surface and at depth. This new formula works with its new method (Immersion Turbines in depth of sea in zero resultant forces). Thus in power generation, water does not exit from the dams! This is a simple form of advanced technology. Constant power plants in water can helps to transfer the energy to the cities. Power transmission cabling system must be secure and safe of industrial. My work is not too important! I just answer a scientific question. Answer to a hard question that scientists are searching for hundreds of years. My new formula and new method can change the world and start a new industrial revolution soon. This invention is patented in Department of Justice in Kurdestan of Iraq No. 952/6 on 12/6/2013. All the scientists have accepted this theory. Investigate the truth is simple. I have to say that this method is very new. It is different from with all the old ways of hydroelectric that we knew them (Hydroelectric of dams and waves and lagoon power plant).

  • jim frank

    AGL’s 35 year decarbonisation plan which in essence offers little more than BAU is hardly what I would describe as being credible. As for their timeframe it’s already on the skids. ‘Mark Lewis, from Kepler Chevreux, who brought attention to the new record, noted: “The disruptive impact of renewable energy has already had a big impact on the utility sector in the EU, and will in our view pose an increasing challenge to incumbent utilities in other parts of the world over the next five years.”’

  • bongorocks

    A fake picture of Yallourn W power station is showing huge amount of pollution . But that is not the fact as anybody who visit the Latrobe valley will be able to confirm, it’s all green propaganda against coal.
    It Will be total madness not to build more coal fired power stations in Australia.
    The only reason why other countries are spending billions of dollars on renewables is simply because they do not have the amount of fossil fuel deposits like Australia have.
    If the greens are allowed to dictate the governments on what to do and how, every state in Australia will be as broke as Tasmania ,after decades of green politics.

  • bongorocks

    Fossil fuels made Australia, and all of the western countries the rich countries they are today. Renewables are sending every countries to the wall.
    Barak Obama is a hypocrite, He rants on against fossil fuels blaming their us on so called global warming. But on the other hand, under his own administration America is producing millions of barrels of crude oil a day from shale rock. Which is the reason why the petrol prices has dropped.
    Shale oil production is far more damaging to the environment than any coal fired power stations anyone can think off.
    Australia have as much shale oil deposits as America have. And if Australia start producing our own crude oil from shale rock then Australia will not have to depend on any crude oil imports from any other country for at least two centuries . So what is Australia waiting for ?
    If Shale oil is good enough for Barak Obama, then It’s also good enough for Tony Abbott.
    It has been said by experts that the shale rock deposits that have been discoverd in Australia, contain more crude oil ,than Saudi Arabia.

    • Alen T

      Your determination to defend fossil fuels and blame greenies for..well anything and everything it seems,smells to me like a bit of fear. You can, and I’m sure you and your ilk will, continue to fight for a dying cause. Fossil fuels, and specifically coal, is a commodity that is slowly but surely approaching its use-by date
      . Don’t take my word for it, instead I recommend reading and listening to what an ever-growing number of major global investment banks are saying. Can’t remember the last report any of these released that says anything on the lines of coal has a bright future. Follow the money, right?

      Leave GW and CC out of it for a minute, and understand that by putting all your eggs in one basket, i.e. betting it all on coal and proclaiming ridiculous statements such as ‘coal is good for humanity’, and by crippling the renewable industry, you are setting the nation on a course for disaster. Look at the iron ore prices, and how much grieve this is causing. Hedge your bets, shelter the nation from a downturn in coal (although that point may have past some time ago) and grow and establish a new industry that ensure Oz has a healthy economy. Considering renewables and clean energy is what the global energy market is wanting, why not continue to encourage and advance our successful renewable industry. Seems logical to me.

      Again, do not take my word for it, read up on what the major global financiers are saying. They appear to unanimously agree, that renewables have a bright and prosperous future.

      • Blair Donaldson

        Alan, the appropriately named bongorocks is typical of the group I call the SIC (selfish, ignorant and comfortable) set who presume to know more than the researchers, the economists and the serious planners with an eye to a sustainable future. They don’t care about evidence, being informed or doing anything that benefits society. They are only interested in themselves, everything and everyone else can suck eggs.

        • bongorocks

          Who are you calling ignorant you idiot. Do you think that all of the countries in the world are as rich and spoiled as you swine heads morons are in Australia ?
          Do you realise that there are many millions of other people in third world countries that will be depending on fossil fuels for centuries to come?
          What would you think will happen if we suddenly changed to reneawabels next week , or even in 20 years time from now . Will you guarantee a base load of electricity supply 24/7 all the year round . or even for just one day only,and at what cost,? will the average Australian be able to afford to pay for the price of your so called reneawabels ?
          Al Gore will , but what about the homeless, the poor, and the jobless and the average people. will they be able to afford to pay the extreme high price of the reneawables . No they won’t .
          Your comment is full crap and nonsense,it is all based on Zombie science by those people who have huge investments, and jobs security in the reneawable industry ,at the cost of the less prevlaged .

          • Blair Donaldson

            You’ve really swallowed the conspiracy cordial big-time. Who said we would be changing to renewables next week? Your excuses for arguments rely entirely on strawmen rather than fact. Whether you like it or not, the people with the money are divesting themselves of fossil fuels and putting the money towards renewables. Please don’t pretend to care about the poor when you and other apologists for the fossil fuel industry will be doing more to damage their health and their environment than anything else ever could.

            E.ON to focus on renewables…


            Wold’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps coal…


          • bongorocks

            I know many people in the Lv that have worked in the brown coal industry all of their lives and not one single one of them is suffering from any illnesses due to coal or coal pollution,some of those people are in their eighties, and three of them are in their nineties. They also know many other people and not a single one of them is sick from coal, also the LV population is a lot more healthier than the city population per capita. .
            The only complaints many people are making about getting sick are from wind farms, and smart meters, not coal Also mobile phones , smoking, and the drug ice are making many people sick. So why blame coal. ? Wind farms are ruining many once beautiful country scenery . The wind farms will outnumber trees soon. Also they are killing many birds including raptors .
            Once upon a time the greens wanted more trees to be planted, but now that the government is planting more trees, the greens want to plant more ugly wind turbines instead of trees.
            I’d much rather see a coal mine in one area ,than wind farms all over the bloody country and everywhere I go.
            To me it makes no difference whether coal is banned of not I’m not employed in the coal industry anymore. But many other people are ,and there is no way that jobs in renewables will ever match the jobs in the coal industry . Those of you who try to say otherwise , are just dreaming thought bubbles as usual. .

          • Blair Donaldson

            Next thing you’ll be telling us the coal mine fire at Hazlewood causing additional deaths and lost economic production or the flooded mines at the Yallourn power station never happened? Fossil fuels are the losers fuel which is why enlightened and socially responsible businesses and investors are moving their money elsewhere. So far you have provided no evidence to support a single thing you have said, you have just thrown around insults and anecdotes. Here is yet more evidence you are wrong.



            As for birds, why don’t you read some evidence instead of regurgitating nonsense from vested interests?


            Unlike you I live near two wind farms and after 10 years, the Eagles are still seen flying around them, particularly at the Toora wind farm.

            As for jobs, the coal industry in the Latrobe Valley employs about a quarter of what it used to before Jeff Kennett sold off and privatised energy production. The Latrobe Valley survives quite okay with all the lost employment and could be a centre for education, medicine and technologies if dinosaurs like you only got out of the way and stopped denying science.

          • bongorocks

            The Hazelwood mine fire would never had happened if some idiot arsonist didn’t light up fire in the first place.Also that incident never caused any deaths, or illnesses .However there will be some people that already had an illness and they will take the opportunity to blame the mine fire for their illness, especially if they are green supporters,and if they don’t have an illness I’m sure that they’ll make one up.
            Having said that, after the mine fire at Hazelwood and the flood at the Yallourn mine everything in the LV is back to normal as if nothing ever happened. Pity I can’t say the same thing about Chernobyle in Russia, and Fukushima in Japan.
            Coal mine incidents such as the Hazelwood mine and the Flood that took place at the Yall coal mine is good for humanity because their knowledge will increase ,and our work practices get even better. Unlike you Vegie patches. Out of the Hazelwood mine better fire fighting methods have been discovered. and out of the Yallourn flood ,better floods protection prevention methods where created.

          • Blair Donaldson

            For somebody who claims to have some knowledge of the power stations in the Latrobe Valley, you are obviously and surprisingly ignorant of the fact that fires have started in the opencut mines on many occasions in the past.

            Who said all minerals in the Earth are to be used by us? You sound like a creationist nutter – next thing you’ll be telling us the earth is only 4000 years old. By the way, the human mind wasn’t designed, it evolved.

            I was studying applied science at Gippsland Institute when the Japanese were doing their coal to oil research. Your story is BS, the fact is they could not make it work at an economically practical level. If they had done so, they would have been importing our coal and converting it to oil in Japan right now whether or not Australia bought the technology rights. They aren’t and you are woefully uninformed.

          • bongorocks

            I wouldn’t call creationists nutters if i was you. Creation is based on intelligent design.and not accidental magic like evolution. I call evolutionists nutters .you nutter. But what would you know about intelligence.?

          • Blair Donaldson

            Thanks for confirming my suspicions. There have been a number of coal fires in the Hazlewood mine in the last 30 years just for starters. You are either ignorant of the facts or deliberately misleading to suit your antiscience beliefs and justifications. You’re certainly not a credible witness.

          • Pedro

            Nice one Blair, Bongorocks is providing much entertainment. Lets hope there are not too many of their type out there.

          • bongorocks

            My story about the Japanese is BS is it ?You only wish it was.

          • Blair Donaldson

            Your comprehension is as bad as your scientific understanding. I did not say the technology didn’t work, I said it was not economical. The difference evidently escapes you.

          • bongorocks

            My comprehension is quite O’K .You said that they couldn’t make the technology work because it was uneconomically. .You never said uneconomically at that time.
            That technology wasn’t meant to be used back then,or now. The Japanese were looking far ahead into the future just in case if one day any political problems in the middle east took place and prevented Japan to get their crude oil imports from the middle east . If that happens there is no limits to what japan will pay for a barrel of crude oil. Beside the price of crude oil from coal was 105. dollars ,Which is equal to today price. if America cuts back on it’s shale oil production.The Australian government of that time were fools not to have taken up the Japanese rights offer, because if the middle east flare up more than it already is then Australia will have to buy it’s crude oil from the Japanese at a very high price even that it is produced from Australian coal. And you are right,my science is very bad. But I don’t consider your crap to be science .I left school very early, but not because I was stupid, but because i considered that life was too short to waste too much of it at school.
            And each time that I come across people like you, IT makes me realise that I had made the right decision

          • Blair Donaldson

            Of course you wouldn’t consider anything I said to be science because you haven’t got a clue what it is. I hope you’ll understand if I don’t consider you a credible witness due to your lack of knowledge about the history of mine fires in the Latrobe Valley, its continued existence despite loss of a huge number of coal mines/electricity jobs a couple of decades ago and your curious interpretation of the history of the Earth. It’s a pity you can’t acknowledge your views are entirely distorted by religious fairy tales.

            I’m amazed you don’t think it’s a disgrace for mankind to be trashing the only home we know in the cosmos considering it was supposedly manufactured by the hands of your special imaginary friend, the big G. Don’t you think he, she or it would be wanting us to look after his handiwork better than we are? Don’t tell me, it’s the next life you’re looking forward to…

          • bongorocks

            It’s too late for Australia to buy rights in that technology those options have expired long ago. You are the one who is badly informed ,or you are in denial.

          • Smurf1976

            Hazelwood employee told me the same thing 20 years ago. Pointed to the direction of the coal to oil plant, said that it worked as such but was uneconomical and that’s why it didn’t go beyond the pilot plant stage.

            That said, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that we see brown coal being turned into oil at some future time. We’ll still be using oil for quite a while yet, and there’s always the threat of turmoil in the Middle East and other major producing regions of the world as well as the relatively limited nature of oil reserves. At some point, making petrol from coal might be the track we’re effectively forced to go down whether we like it or not.

          • Blair Donaldson

            About six months ago on the Occam’s Razor podcast I heard a guy talking about some “new” process for converting brown coal to oil. Sounds like it’s basically high-pressure and heat and has the dubious bonus of making use of the water in the coal. As I recall he was spruking for funds from the federal government to move the research from the laboratory to a pilot plant. I haven’t heard any more. I agree that we will likely see oil for transport for some time yet but I think the time has come where we can wean ourselves off it for electrical energy production.

            Seems as though our Ken Ham proxy has gone AWOL 🙂

          • Smurf1976

            Brown coal does have its’ good points and cops more criticism than is really justified in my opinion. It beats oil on any measure and doesn’t have a lot of the downsides that gas does. But it does pollute, there is no question about that, and is ultimately unsustainable. More sustainable than oil perhaps and possibly gas, but still unsustainable in the long term. Wind farms, hydro dams and solar panels are something we’ll just have to get used to if we want to keep using electricity in the long term. I say that as someone who once traveled (from Tasmania) to the LV for the sole purpose of seeing the coal mines and power stations for myself. It’s a very impressive sight in engineering terms, no doubt about that, and definitely cleaner than the common perception. Had a look inside Hazelwood and the Morwell mine when I was there and saw the others from the outside.

            This was in the 1990’s before all terrorism concerns etc – I doubt that the general public is allowed inside a working power station in Vic these days?

          • bongorocks

            All minerals are there to be used by us, No other planet in the vast universe has been blessed like planet earth that have every mineral that humans need to build our civilizations ,and to support the abundant life style we all enjoy.
            There are also those kind of minerals that are there to be used to manufacture and to develop clean coal technologies to make dirty coal burn cleaner.
            Humans have a mind that no other creature on earth have. it is designed to invent and to create. And for those who keep saying to leave the coal in the ground they are just narrow minded bigots against coal.
            Roughly thirty years ago the Japanese came to the latrobe valley and they’ve built an experimental pilot plant to find out if it was possible to extract crude oil from brown coal, the experiment was highly successful, so then they’ve asked the Australian government if they would be interested to buy the rights to share i the technology with Japan,but the Australian government rejected the offer because they claimed that they didn’t have the money available …. {Typical Australian mentality , always getting left behind }… So the Japanese demolished the pilot plant and kept the technology to themselves and went back to Japan. But if Japan ever have any problems from the middle east that interfere with their crude oil imports, then the Japanese have the right to come back to the Latrobe valley and build a whole crude oil refinery to extract crude oil from brown coal to export back to Japan,and no green policy or arguments and law suites that will take place, will be able to stop them.
            There are technologies today that can make coal burn clean. If Australia wont use those technologies then other countries will .
            Concerning your argument that coal is not sustainable, you most likely got that information from some other coal bigot like Christine Milne. In the Latrobe valley alone, there are three huge coal fired power stations, add the Japanese crude oil manufacturing industry to that as well, and the present Latrobe valley coal deposit is said to last for at least another 800 years ,and there is a huge more coal deposits to be discovered.
            There is only one other option that is capable to replace coal to generate electricity, and that is nuclear…. Last year after some idiot arsonist caused the Morwel mine fire disaster the greens, and the media made a big deal how bad and dangerous coal was. But one month after the mine fire was put out all things went back to normal in the latrobe valley. Pity I cant say the same thing about Chyrnoble in Russia, and Fukushima in Japan after their nuclear disasters.
            These days the claim that nuclear reactors are very safe ,I quite believe they really are safe .But are they terrorists safe since the world wide political global warming is on the increase ,and the terrorists are wining.
            I agree with Tony Abbott when he said that coal is good for humanity.
            Pity that there are so many coal bigots that don’t have the brains to understand that humans are intelligent enough to invent and develop what is needed to develop to use this vast mineral to the country advantage, instead they curl up with fear each time they hear the word coal….
            We only have two choices ,coal or nuclear. The rest are just thought bubbles.

          • Smurf1976

            I am neither for nor against coal per se and I have acknowledged the advantages of LV coal over gas and especially oil, those two fuels being unsustainable even in the medium term (years, decades at most). But anything that involves the consumption of a non-renewable resource is unsustainable by definition. We might be able to sustain it for a very long time, centuries even, but ultimately it must end at some point.

            Nuclear – agreed there. The incidents in Japan and previously the former USSR have shown very clearly that man does not have the ability to properly deal with such events, even when they occur in technologically advanced societies (and Japan is most certainly very capable in a technical and scientific sense) or then military superpowers (as the USSR certainly was back in 1986). The probability of an accident might be low, but the consequences are huge and we don’t have a means of dealing with that.

            Personally, I’d be more than happy to see Australia’s electricity needs met by a combination of renewables, including large scale hydro, and coal with the minimum use of oil and gas and no nuclear. I’d describe myself as pro-renewables in the long term, since there is ultimately no choice, but pragmatic in the here and now. We’re not going to 100% renewables by the end of next week, and for the non-renewable component LV coal easily beats the main alternatives.

          • Pedro

            “No other planet in the vast universe has been blessed like planet earth that have every mineral that humans need to build our civilizations.”……….Really?? Are you serious!! A completely moronic statement unless, Bongorocks you are from a different planet.

            Time to get off the “ice” you accuse the greenies of being on. Your comments are so ridiculous I am killing myself laughing.

          • Alen T

            Renewables already employ more workers than coal does

            It is the (conservative) IEA that says renewables are a cheaper and more reliable method to electrify the world’s poor, not some greenies.

      • bongorocks

        And when that take place Australia will make Greece look real good.

  • Smurf1976

    There are some errors in that list. Eg Redbank is already closed whereas Hazelwood and Anglesea are definitely viable, technically at least, beyond the dates indicated. And the capacity referred to at Muja, that is C and D stages, is nowhere near 48 years old.

  • john

    At least the company has a person who actually understands energy how very refreshing.

  • Tanya Lippmann

    AGL has announced it will not seek to extend the life of coal power stations beyond 2050. These power stations were already set to be decommissioned before 2050. AGL’s announcement does not impact on NSW’s or Australia’s power generation plans. AGL’s announcement is a political message that coal power is coming to an end.

    Previous to this announcement, the decommission dates of AGL’s coal power stations were set to occur earlier than 2050. In fact this public commitment made by AGL, may extend the life of certain coal power stations such as Liddell, which was originally planned to be decommissioned in 2022.

    AGL’s public announcement to decommission coal fired power stations by 2050 is positive communication to politicians, media and the public that Australia’s dependance on coal as a source of energy and financial profits, independent of the Federal Government’s stance and policy, is diminishing.

  • SuperL14M

    35 years is too long! I’m a kid and I know that! Probably I’ll be a grandparent by then! Leave the coal in the ground and get on with it AGL!