Mining industry hits out at expected blow for Australian coal power

The mining industry has raised “serious concern” following reports that this week’s final Finkel review on the Future Security of the National Electricity Market may rule out modernised coal-fired power stations.

An emphasis on renewable energy sources and gas will take its place, according to the Minerals Council of Australia executive for coal, Greg Evans, who is worried about the pressure the move could potentially place on electricity prices and reliability.  

“An energy blueprint that strays away from coal generation or deliberately excludes its contribution in the future means higher prices and less reliable electricity for everyday Australians, industry and businesses,” Evans said.

“Despite some early commentary about the report, it’s not a technology-neutral approach to devise an arbitrary emission threshold test, especially one based on narrow point source emissions and not life-cycle methodology.

“Coal should not be deliberately cast aside from the energy mix, especially as it is well-placed to compete on merit and deliver on the Prime Minister’s correctly identified priorities of affordability, reliability and low emissions.”

Technologically focused nations, such as Japan and Germany, are involving modern coal generation in its bids to lower carbon emissions, Evans also noted.

The final review, which is being carried out by Dr Alan Finkel, will reportedly seek a benchmark for carbon emissions target for the industry – and is expected to indirectly penalise coal without carbon-capture storage

 The Australian has reported that the policy would most likely have a negative impact for AGL, according to RBC analyst Ben Wilson – although would be good news for APA Group and Infigen Energy.

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