Greens target Victoria's dirtiest coal plants in state election pledge | RenewEconomy

Greens target Victoria’s dirtiest coal plants in state election pledge

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Victorian Greens pledge to shut down Victoria’s dirtiest coal power plants as soon as next year, if they win the balance of power in next week’s election.

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Things are getting interesting for Victoria’s renewables industry in the lead-up to next week’s election, with the Greens today pledging to shut down some of the state’s dirtiest coal power plants if they manage to win the balance of power.

The promised scheme – which would see the phasing out of the Hazelwood and Anglesea coal-fired power stations and one of Yallourn’s four units as early as next year – follows a pledge from the state Labor Party to bin the Coalition’s wind farm planning restrictions and develop the state’s first 100 per cent renewable ‘solar town’.

The Victorian Greens’ plan, outlined on Thursday by the party’s Victorian leader Greg Barber, alongside Christine Milne, is that the

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber

decommissioned coal power capacity would be replaced by solar, wind and other renewable sources.

Beyond the rapid shutdown of Hazelwood and Anglesea, the plan also aims to close Loy Yang B and the other three units of Yallourn in 2023.

According to the Greens, this would remove 21 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from Victoria every year from 2023 and reduce the pollution intensity of the state’s power system by 27 per cent.

It would also address the problem of excess capacity, says the party.

“Victoria has more energy than it needs and the average age of its power plants is a staggering 40 years old.

“We produce the dirtiest energy in Australia. But we don’t need so many brown coal electricity generators.”

As well, the Greens say their plan would produce jobs, in the rehabilitation of coal mines and decommissioning generators.

“Mine rehabilitation across the Latrobe Valley, according to Environment Victoria would create around 450 skilled and unskilled jobs for more than a decade and provide a billion-dollar economic stimulus to the region,” says the Greens’ policy plan.

“There is also the great opportunity to replicate what is already occurring in places like Nottingham in the UK, where massive solar farms are being built over the top of disused coal mines.

“Clean energy is not a threat but an employment opportunity for places like Anglesea and the LaTrobe Valley.”

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  1. Ken Dyer 6 years ago

    I have no doubt that the power companies, saddled with these obsolete coal burners since Kennett privatised the SEC in the 90’s, and given another lease of life by the Brumby Government when in power, would love nothing more than to turn these monsters off.

    However, the power companies need to maintain the bottom line integrity of their business and also be partly relieved of the massive responsibility and cost to remediate the environmental destruction of the giant coal holes that all Victorians have contributed too over decades, as well as the destruction of several hundred jobs.

    I applaud the Green’s initiative in this proposal but as always the devil is in the detail. They should also spell out what it will cost to remediate the environment and how a safety net will work for displaced workers. They need a migration plan that will provide a win win solution suitable for all.

  2. Harry Verberne 6 years ago

    LYB is the most recently built and lowest CO2 emitting brown coal power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. I am sure the Greens really mean LYA (LYA power station and mine owned by AGL) which is an older four x 520MW unit station adjacent to the smaller LYB. LYB uses coal from AGL’s mine.

    Although decommissioning and mine rehab would provide employment the longer term employment issues in the Latrobe Valley, ongoing jobs are an issue. I agree with Ken Dyer for the need for a migration plan that could be supported by the incumbent generators rather than be resisted. It won’t be cheap!

  3. Michel Syna Rahme 6 years ago

    “There is also the great opportunity to replicate what is already occurring in places like Nottingham in the UK, where massive solar farms are being built over the top of disused coal mines.”

    This is a good idea – aren’t transmission lines and electricity infrastructure already available at these sites?

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