Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey has defended Queensland electricity consumers and slammed the Turnbull Government’s plans to help fund the construction of clean coal-fired power stations.
The Prime Minister spoke at the National Press Club earlier this week, where he took a strong stance on the future of coal in Australia’s energy future.
As the world’s largest exporter in the country, Mr Turnbull said coal has role to play in the future, but we must develop ways to produce “clean coal”.
“We’ve invested $590 million since 2009 in clean coal technology research and demonstration and yet we do not have one modern high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fired power station, let alone one with carbon capture and storage,” he said.
“Old, high emissions coal-fired power stations are closing down as they age… they cannot simply be replaced by gas, because it’s too expensive, or by wind or solar because they are intermittent.”
Mr Bailey said new coal-fired baseload generation in Queensland was unnecessary as Queensland already had four super critical stations built since 2000 and a huge level of baseload capacity.
“The Prime Minister claims to be concerned about electricity prices but industry and energy experts like the Australian Industry Group and Bloomberg New Energy Finance have today revealed electricity prices could double if new coal-fired power stations are built,” Mr Bailey said.
“Queenslanders simply cannot afford another surge in electricity prices under Mr Turnbull’s plan similar to the 43 per cent rises under the three years of the previous Newman LNP state government.
“If the Prime Minister checked in with the investment community, he would know there is no interest in building coal-fired power stations.
“To achieve lower emissions and lower prices, new generation must not be carbon intensive and must be renewable as costs continue to plunge year by year.
“Compared to renewables, clean coal is not clean at all.”
Mr Bailey said with the start of a large scale renewable industry under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland is already getting its own new power stations all over the state, with 21st century technology producing affordable, clean energy.
“680MW of privately funded renewable energy projects are currently in the pipeline to deliver $1.5 billion of new investment to Queensland and more than 1200 direct jobs, mostly in our regions,” he said.
“In contrast the PM’s scaremongering on energy security, in Queensland we have an energy policy that has stabilised prices, maintained energy security, creates jobs and acts on climate change via a transition to clean energy.”