Survey backs construction of low emission coal power station in NSW

New research has found there is strong public support for the construction of a low emission coal-fired power station in New South Wales.

A public opinion survey of 1000 people across NSW, conducted by Crosby Textor for the NSW Minerals Council, found 64 per cent support the construction of a coal-fired power plant if it could produce electricity at lower emissions than existing power plants. Only 33 per cent of respondents were opposed to the proposal.

The research also found that 81 per cent of Coalition voters were in support, with only 16 per cent opposed. Among Labor voters, support was at 57 per cent compared with 40 percent opposed.

In Sydney, 59 per cent of residents in the city supported a low emission station, while 69 per cent of regional NSW backed the idea.

“This research shows significant support right across NSW for new coal-fired power plants to be part of our future energy mix,” NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said.

“Since the recent closure of coal power plants in Victoria and South Australia we’ve seen a reduction in supply and a spike in prices. In the Hunter, AGL intends to close the Liddell power station in just five years and without replacement capacity these issues are set to get worse.

“Mining and manufacturing businesses in the industrial parks of western Sydney and in regional mining communities regularly express their concerns to me about the high cost of electricity and future reliability of supply.”

A new high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power plant has the potential to lock in the energy needs of NSW for decades, while also reducing emissions from the current levels at the Liddell plant by around 25 per cent, the NSW Minerals Council added.