$5 billion infrastructure fund for clean-coal – announces Resources Minister Matt Canavan
Resources Minister Matt Canavan opens $5 billion infrastructure fund for clean-coal power stations, ABC News, 3 Feb 17 By political reporter Henry Belot Resources Minister Matt Canavan has opened the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to fund new so-called clean-coal power stations.
- The Federal Government has invested close to $590 million in clean-coal technology since 2009
- Australia does not have a high-efficiency, low-emission power station
- Prime Minister Turnbull announced the push for more clean-coal technology earlier this week
Senator Canavan’s comments come days after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australian industry had an obligation to be at the forefront of coal technology.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has also not ruled out using money set aside in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to pay for new generation power stations.
Mr Canavan said he had received interest from energy generators to tap into the billion-dollar investment fund and explore North Queensland. “I’ve received some interest over the past week associated with our commitment to build base load power stations, including to support clean coal options,” he told ABC AM. Mr Canavan would not say which companies had expressed interest but said there were viable options near the Galilee Basin and other parts of the state’s north.
The Federal Government has invested close to $590 million in clean-coal technology since 2009 but Australia does not have a high-efficiency, low-emission power station. The Resources Minister cited a 2012 report by industry consultants GHD, which indicated clean-coal power stations could be commercially viable in Australia’s north.
Mr Canavan dismissed comments by some Australia’s energy generators — including AGL and Energy Australia — saying new power stations would be expensive to build and require significant public funds……
Bloomberg New Energy finance researcher Leonard Quong said new coal would be the most expensive form of energy supply. “New coal is made particularly expensive due to the substantial carbon, reputation, trading and construction risks the technology presents to an investor,” he said.
The renewed focus on clean-coal has drawn criticism from Labor and the Greens, who have accused the Government of trying to protect “the coal club”.
Opposition spokesman for climate change and energy Mark Butler said a preference for coal over renewables would mean higher power bills for Australians. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the cleanest form of electricity would remain wind and solar, while raising concerns about the cost of new base-load coal plants. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-03/infrastructure-fund-opened-for-clean-coal-power-stations/8237866
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