Australian news, and some related international items

New “clean coal” plants would cost Australia twice as much as renewable energy

Neither Canavan nor Frydenberg responded to questions about the costs of building new coal power stations

text-relevantAustralia’s coal power plan twice as costly as renewables route, report finds
Researcher says new coal plants aimed at reducing emissions would cost $62b, while the cost using renewables would be $24-$34bn,
Guardian , 27 Jan 17, A plan for new coal power plants, which government ministers say could reduce emissions from coal-generated electricity by 27%, would cost more than $60bn, a new analysis has found.

Frydenberg, Josh climateAchieving the same reduction using only renewable energy would cost just half Canavan, Matt climate
as much – between $24bn and $34bn – the report found.

The resources minister, Matthew Canavan, and the energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, have been arguing for new coal power plants to be built in Australia.

Last week, Canavan released analysis he commissioned from the industry department, which found replacing all Australia’s coal power stations with the latest “ultra super-critical” coal-fired power stations would reduce emissions in that sector by 27%.

Frydenberg has also raised the conclusions in interviews, and promoted the benefits of coal power.

Neither has responded to questions about the cost of reducing coal-fired power emissions by 27% using the latest technology.

So Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College at the University of Melbourne crunched the numbers, and found that the 27% reduction in the coal sector could be achieved, but it would cost $62bn.

McConnell said at a conservative estimate, achieving the reduction would require 20GW of new capacity. According to the latest estimates from the CSIRO, new ultra super-critical black coal costs $3,100 per kW to build.

“No wonder no one wants to talk about the costs,” McConnell said.

He said $62bn would be enough to build between 35GW and 39GW of wind and solar energy. Because that would produce less electricity than 20GW of coal power, it would not completely replace coal power, but it would reduce its emissions by up to 65%.

And that would amount to an emissions reduction of between 50% and 60% in the electricity sector as a whole.

McConnell found that if the 27% reduction in emissions from the coal generation sector were to be achieved with renewables, rather than with new coal, about 13-19GW of renewable energy would be needed, which would cost between $24bn and $34bn.

He said the scenario proposed by Canavan and Frydenberg would end up with 20GW of highly polluting coal power stations that were unlikely to be retired for decades.

On the other hand, McConnell said, if that money were spent on renewables, it would leave some coal and gas in place, which ultimately would still need to be removed to meet long-term emissions reduction targets.

Neither Canavan nor Frydenberg responded to questions about the costs of building new coal power stations……

January 28, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics

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