The announced closure of the Hazelwood power station today highlights the need for a clear national energy and climate policy to guide the decarbonisation of Australia’s electricity supply, the energy industry said today.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said the announced closure of the more than 50 year old power station will impact on employees and the Latrobe Valley community, but it has been widely speculated for some months and is the closure of a commercial asset at the end of its operating life.
“The fact that there is such widespread concern over today’s announcement reflects the underlying problem: that no one is really sure what is going to happen next,” Mr Warren said.
“The idea of an efficient and reliable transition to a low carbon energy future in Australia is that we have a clear national strategy to continuously reduce emissions from the sector over time, that delivers this change reliably and at the lowest cost.
“Investors should already be well advanced in delivering the right mix of lower emissions generation to replace the 1600MW of capacity which is coming off line in March next year.
“Instead everybody is asking ‘what happens next?’ That is because there is no national plan, which has resulted in investment gridlock and growing uncertainty for business and consumers.
“Large renewable energy targets are already in place in Victoria, but these and other state-based approaches, on their own appear to have little impact in providing the necessary clarity for the energy market.”
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
Media contact Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342
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