Coal the main player for decades to come: Hunt

Coal-fired power stations will continue to be a key part of the Australian energy landscape for decades to come, according to the country’s environment minister.

Appearing on Sky News’ PM program, Greg Hunt backed the continued use of coal to supply Australia’s energy needs well into this century.

A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended renewables should make up
80 per cent of power generation by 2050 and for fossil fuel power generation to be phased out entirely by 2100.

“Look, my view is that coal will be a fundamental part of the world energy mix for decades and decades, if not more,” Mr Hunt told PM.

Mr Hunt, who is tasked with implementing the Federal Government’s climate change policies, said it was “a little bit fraught and a little bit vain” to be predicting where energy would be in 2100.

However, he said Australia could make real progress in the coming years on reducing the environmental impact of coal power stations, such as through the use of clean coal technology.

“There are a variety of options. What I think will happen is this – to the best extent that you can predict the future – I think that we will be able to use our coal and gas resources in a dramatically more efficient way with dramatically lower emissions,” Mr Hunt said.

“That will happen, I think, over the coming decade, not decades.”