The Australian Energy Market Operator has shown that we can no longer rely on ageing coal plants to keep the lights on during hot weather, puncturing the Prime Minister’s attempts to keep our oldest plants alive, the Australian Wind Alliance has said.
The Market Operator’s ESOO report released yesterday identified heatwaves and the unreliability of old coal and gas units as the main threats to the stability of the electricity grid. Extra grid support would be needed in coming summers and could come from a range of sources including demand response and battery storage. Unlike the government, it made no mention of the need for more coal.
Energy company AGL also confirmed it would walk away from coal-fired Liddell power station in 2022 as previously announced.
“Every time this government tries to take coal off life support it gets mugged by reality,” said Andrew Bray, National Coordinator for the Australian Wind Alliance.
“Our oldest coal plants are the weakest links in the grid. The quicker they are retired and replaced with modern, distributed renewable energy, the more resilient our grid will be.
“Coal power is in structural retreat in Australia and no amount of political jawboning is going to change that.
“The future of energy in Australia lies with clean wind and solar. That’s why energy companies like AGL are walking away from coal.
“The best way to put downward pressure on power prices is to drive investment in the lowest cost solutions - wind and solar, with battery backup.
“Australians want more renewable energy, the market operator has told us it’s not only feasible but essential. Let’s just get on with it”