Posted by Andrew Bray

 

Gillard coal failure risk to Repowering Port Augusta
Call to redirect compensation to big solar “Contracts for Construction”
 
The Gillard government’s failure to negotiate closure of Australia’s highest polluting coal-fired power stations makes building big solar plants to replace them a priority, said renewable energy campaign 100% Renewable today.

“Many Australians will today be concerned that the government has walked away from of a key plank of their carbon price package,” said Campaign Coordinator Lindsay Soutar.

“This raises real question marks about their commitment to a Clean Energy Future and will be a great disappointment to communities in places like Port Augusta which is hoping to see the local health-threatening coal stations replaced with clean, safe solar.

“Australians overwhelmingly want to see our power come from clean sources like big solar, not outdated, polluting coal.

“We’re calling on the government to either recommence negotiations to close dinosaur coal stations like Playford and Hazelwood or to turn their failed Contracts for Closure program into a Contracts for Construction program that will build big solar.

“The government has promised $5.5 billion to coal-fired generators to stay open but their hard-ball approach to these negotiations clearly shows they don’t need the money.

“Instead of gifting this money to companies that don’t need it, it should go to building the big solar solutions we will need in the future.

Plans for Australia’s first large scale solar thermal plant at Port Augusta are well advanced with community support gathering around the proposal. Alinta Energy, owner of Playford B and one of the applicants under the Contracts for Closure program, has publicly stated they would like to replace Playford with a solar thermal plant.

“The government has an opportunity to show it is still committed to a clean energy future by supporting the proposal to repower Port Augusta with solar thermal.

“The Renewable Energy Target is the other key plank in ensuring Australia continues to clean up our energy supply without the Cash for Closure program.

The government should be looking to expand the Renewable Energy Target alongside efforts to replace coal with solar.”  said Ms Soutar.

CONTACT: Lindsay Soutar, National Coordinator, 0411 098 853
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