Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland govt will back renewable energy, not new coal-fired power stations

No new coal-fired power stations planned for Queensland, Australian Financial Review, by Mark Ludlow, 7 Feb 17 The Palaszczuk Labor government said it had no plans to back any new coal-fired power stations in Queensland, despite the Turnbull government planning to use the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to help bankroll new base-load power in the state’s far north.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey – who is attempting to transform the state’s power mix from 7 per cent to 50 per cent renewables in the next 13 years – said new “clean coal” power stations were too expensive and there was more than enough wind, solar and hydro projects about to come online in the state.

“There is simply no need for new coal-fired base load generation in North Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.

“With the start of a large scale renewable industry under the Palaszczuk government, North Queensland is getting its own power stations, with twenty-first century producing affordable, clean energy.”

It comes as Mr Bailey has written to federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to accuse him of using flawed modelling to criticise the state Labor governments and their ambitious renewable energy targets.

These include Queensland (50 per cent by 2030), South Australia (50 per cent by 2025), Victoria (40 per cent by 2025) and the ACT (100 per cent by 2020).

In the letter, obtained by The Australian Financial Review, Mr Bailey questioned the $27 billion figure Mr Frydenberg has repeatedly claimed would be the cost of the state renewable programs, asking since late last year to publicly release the modelling to back up the figure.

“I am disappointed by the lack of detail provided in your response in which you simply outlined some of the data sources used in your department’s analysis,” Mr Bailey said in the letter.

“As a consequence, your response leaves me no clearer as to how the capital cost estimate of $27 billion was calculated. It confirms my concerns, however, about your use of this figure which even with limited visibility of your modelling is clearly flawed.”

Mr Bailey said the Turnbull government was continuing to “demonise renewable energy” and undermine Queensland’s consumer confidence by attacking the state renewable targets. He said the state was committed to moving away from fossil fuels, with more than 680 megawatts of new renewable projects, worth $1.5 billion, in the pipeline.

Last week Chief Scientist Alan Finkel – who is conducting a review for the Turnbull government on energy security – said taxpayer money should not be used to subsidise high-efficiency, low-emission coal plants, such as those used in Japan………

Meanwhile, the Clean Energy Regulator has warned electricity retailers that they have until the deadline of February 14 to meet their obligations under the Renewable Energy Target. It follows ERM Power, one of Australia’s largest electricity retailers, choosing to pay a $123 million penalty rather than their RET liabilities.

“Paying a shortfall charge does not support generation to meet the 2020 target [of 23.5 per cent],” the Clean Energy Regulator said. “The intentional failure to surrender certificates will be viewed as a failure to comply with the spirit of the law and an undermining of the objectives and integrity of the scheme.”

February 8, 2017 - Posted by | energy, Queensland

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