“Coal-fired power is Queensland’s past, not Queensland’s future.”
Federal Labor, Greens and crossbenchers should block a Morrison Government proposal to funnel $3.3 million of public funds towards a feasibility study for a new coal-fired power station, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said today.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor wants to use of $3.3 million of public money to “provide funding to Shine Energy Pty Ltd… to support a feasibility study into the viability of a new high-efficiency, low-emissions coal fired power plant in Collinsville, Queensland.”
The funding was approved and announced without going to tender and uses a legislative instrument that restricts public and parliamentary inquiry and oversight.
“There is no credible evidence a new coal-fired power station is needed to supply electricity in North Queensland,” ACF Climate and Energy Program Manager Gavan McFadzean said.
“New research, commissioned by ACF and released just last week, shows renewable energy projects are on track to provide a third of Queensland’s electricity by 2025.
“The research, by Tristan Edis of Green Energy Markets, shows renewables’ share of the electricity market continues to grow.
“Coal-fired power is Queensland’s past, not Queensland’s future.
“ACF is concerned the funding for Shine Energy was announced prior to the company making any grant application, there was no competitive process for awarding the grant and the guidelines for the funding were developed specifically for Shine Energy.
“Shine Energy previously submitted a business case to the Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investment program that did not meet the criteria for that program.
“By looking to put public money into the Collinsville proposal, the Government is subsidising a loser, as coal-fired power will soon be uninsurable and the public will need to indemnify stations against inevitable climate risk.
“ACF calls on Labor, Greens and crossbench MPs to block Minister Taylor’s proposal to blow $3.3 million of public funds on a proposal that is opaque and unnecessary.”
The Australian Energy Council has said new coal fired power stations in Australia don’t stack up and their high emissions profile makes them ‘uninvestable’.