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Would more coal-fired power stations would be a mistake?

Building more coal-fired power stations would be an environmental and economic mistake, according to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

ATSE made the statement amid media speculation that the Government would use the ACCC’s recent report to justify underwriting baseload power investments based on coal.

ATSE President Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE said the Academy had long advocated for technology-neutral policies that could address the energy trilemma – providing reliable and secure electricity, at an affordable cost to the consumer, while reducing and eventually eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

“New coal-fired power stations will not reduce the cost of electricity and will not aid efforts to reduce emissions.

“The main reason coal fired plants struggle to obtain funding is the concern around dramatically reduced economic service life for such plants as we transition to an electricity system with lower emissions.

“The rest of the world is eschewing coal-fired power. China and India between them have built 85% of the world’s new coal-fired power capacity since 2006 and are now rapidly abandoning coal. Their pre-construction plans have shrunk over the last 3 years from 515GW to 76GW in China and 218GW to 63GW in India.”

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