Luddite PM wrong to try to delay Liddell power station closure

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 | Jeremy Buckingham

Greens NSW energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today labelled the Prime Minister a Luddite and wrong after Mr Turnbull revealed that the federal government was attempting to persuade AGL to keep the Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley open for another five years after its scheduled closure date of 2022.

"Liddell power station is one of the oldest in the country. It's age means it does not provide the reliable electricity the Prime Minister says he wants to achieve.  This is about ideology and internal Liberal Party politics, not a coherent energy policy," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Today's AEMO Report makes it clear that the answer to our energy problems is large scale investment in renewable energy with storage.  Only a luddite could read that report and want to prop up an unreliable 50 year old coal-fired power station.  The NSW Government should make it clear to the Prime Minister that this is not a sensible strategy.

"It is tragic that the lack of direction and coherent policy from the federal government is causing power prices to rise and investment uncertainty in Australia at the very moment when technological advancement and global climate policies are driving a clean energy revolution.

"AGL and the other major energy companies have made it very clear they do not want to invest in coal-fired power and want a stable policy environment that allows them to make the transformation to renewable energy and storage.  AGL has been building its public reputation on the impending closure of Liddell power station.

"This push to keep an ancient coal-fired power station going demonstrates that the Liberal Party is far behind the experts, the regulators, the energy companies, and public opinion when it comes to energy policy.

"The science of climate change means we must rapidly phase out coal from our energy mix.  In Australia, this means closing an average of one coal-fired power station every year.

"Australian governments should be working together to implement a strategy for an orderly transition from coal, but instead we have a weak Prime Minister trying to demonstrate his fealty to the Luddites and climate science deniers in his own party, and the fossil fuel lobby."

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