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If the Federal Government will not retire 2000 megawatts of old, dirty coal-fired power, it should add 2000 megawatts to the national renewable energy target, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.
Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced this morning that the government had failed to reach agreement with the owners of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power stations on contracts for closure.
“Closing our dirtiest coal fired power stations was a central plank of the Clean Energy Future package,” said ACF’s climate change program manager Tony Mohr.
“If these dirty old clunkers are not shut down, the companies that own them certainly don’t deserve $5.5 billion in handouts from the taxpayer for nothing.
“There’s no ‘value for money’ in giving $5.5 billion in freebies to our dirtiest coal fired generators.
“Failure to retire 2000 megawatts of old dirty coal must not hold up Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
“ACF calls on the government to add 2000 megawatts to the existing renewable energy target.
“The generators have been greedy, failing to see this as the best deal they have ever been – and ever will be – offered.
“The majority of Australians support contracts for closure of old power stations like Hazelwood in Victoria and Playford in South Australia.
“ACF will work with other environment groups to explore every legal, legislative and financial option for closing these old fossils, which are among the most polluting power stations in the world.”