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Qld and Federal Government set for coal face-off


The state and federal governments are set to clash again over coal and nuclear energy.

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The State Government has flatly ruled out any hope of it supporting coal or nuclear energy in Queensland following the elevation to federal Cabinet of Queensland Nationals MP Keith Pitt.

The new Resources Minister is a strong advocate of the nuclear option and has also been a critic of renewables. He even quit the front bench over his opposition to the Paris Agreement which sought to limit carbon emissions globally.

But Queensland’s Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said “there will be no further coal-fired power stations in Queensland because there is no need’’.

“We have the youngest fleet. Why would you build another one?

“A new coal-fired power station is $120 per megawatt. I can get solar for $50, wind $44. Why would I go shopping for nuclear when it’s $240?

“That’s the Keith Pitt saga – $240. The Anthony Lynham saga is between $44 and $50. So who is going to get the cheapest energy for families?’’

Lynham said the Federal Government was also likely to kill off the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, a GOC which was established to accelerate renewables.

“Every renewable energy company knows it,’’ Lynham said.

“We just don’t know where the Federal Government is going to go.’’

The CSIRO also updated its report on energy costs which showed that renewables were significantly cheaper electricity generators.

CSIRO chief energy economist and report lead author Paul Graham said the report was an essential annual benchmark to guide strategic decision making, given technology costs change significantly each year.

“Our data confirms that while existing fossil-fuel power plants are competitive due to their sunk capital costs, solar and wind generation technologies are currently the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity for Australia, compared to any other new-build technology,” he said.

“At a global level, the investment costs of a wide range of low-emission generation technologies are projected to continue to fall, and we found new-build renewable generation to be least cost, including when we add the cost of two or six hours of energy storage to wind and solar.

“This also holds when the cost of fossil generation technology is adjusted for climate policy risk or not.


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