Tuesday 7 June 2022 08:49 AM Greens blast Labor plan to burn more coal amid energy crisis trends now

Tuesday 7 June 2022 08:49 AM Greens blast Labor plan to burn more coal amid energy crisis trends now
Tuesday 7 June 2022 08:49 AM Greens blast Labor plan to burn more coal amid energy crisis trends now

Tuesday 7 June 2022 08:49 AM Greens blast Labor plan to burn more coal amid energy crisis trends now

The Greens have blasted Labor's plan to burn more coal to bring soaring power prices down.

At least a quarter of Australia's coal-fired electricity production is currently offline due to planned and unplanned outages while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter. 

With gas supplies dear and energy bills set to skyrocket, Resources Minister Madeleine King on Tuesday called on coal power stations to increase their output as soon as possible.

Greens leader Adam Bandt (second left) insists that burning more coal is not the answer to rising power prices

Greens leader Adam Bandt (second left) insists that burning more coal is not the answer to rising power prices

But Greens leader Adam Bandt said this is the wrong move and the focus must be on renewable energy. He also cautioned the government against subsidising coal-fired power. 

'Propping up these aging plants would be throwing good money after bad,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'No amount of patching up these dirty clunkers will fix the problem.'

Mr Bandt said Australia should follow the example of the ACT which has generated all of its electricity from renewables since 2020.

While the east coast braces for soaring prices, power bills in the ACT are set to fall from July 1, providing an annual saving to households of $23.

The ACT is currently paying less than a quarter of the NSW market price for its electricity because it relies on solar and wind and is less vulnerable to global price shocks.

'The lesson from the ACT could not be clearer: go 100% renewables, break up with fossil fuels and reap the benefits of cheaper, cleaner, reliable energy,' Mr Bandt said.

While the east coast braces for soaring prices, power bills in the ACT are set to fall from July 1, providing an annual saving to households of $23. Pictured: A solar farm

While the east coast braces for soaring prices, power bills in the ACT are set to fall from July 1, providing an annual saving to households of $23. Pictured: A solar farm

Labor wants cheaper renewable sources to supply 82 per cent of electricity by 2030, claiming this will save households $275 a year by 2025, and $378 by 2030. 

But Ms King said more coal was needed for now. 

'In the very short term, what we really need to do is to have the coal power stations come back online because that is the missing piece of the puzzle right now,' she told ABC radio on Tuesday.

'There's been unplanned outages for many reasons, many beyond the control of those operators and I do accept that, but I hope they're doing their best to make sure this power source comes online as well.'

There is global pressure on gas prices as nations reject abundant Russian gas following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Germany has drafted laws to prevent coal power stations destined for the scrapheap from being axed, ordering them to be kept on standby instead.

Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic also plan to burn more coal as a temporary measure while they reduce reliance on Russian gas, and the UK is drilling for more gas in the North Sea.  

AGL currently has three coal power stations in NSW and Victoria either offline or on reduced capacity due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance issues. 

Origin's Eraring power station, the largest  in NSW, has also been crippled by coal production cutbacks at its neighbouring conveyor belt-connected coalmine. 

At least a quarter of Australia's coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises

At least a quarter of Australia's coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises

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