17 April 2023
As the Liddell Power Station closes this month, the Coalition is calling on the Albanese Government to reveal its plan for keeping the lights on as Australia approaches rolling premature closures of baseload power stations.
“Show us your plan,” demanded Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Ted O’Brien while visiting the Hunter region, highlighting that 35 percent of total energy generation capacity in New South Wales will exit the grid with the closure of the Liddell Power Station (10 per cent) over coming days and Eraring Power Station (25 per cent) by 2025.
The early exit of the major NSW generators marks the beginning of the rolling premature closures of approximately 20GW of power stations – representing 80% of Australia’s total baseload energy – by 2035.
“The closure of Liddell marks the start of a turbulent new era in Australia’s energy market where 20GW of baseload energy will be prematurely ripped out of the grid with no guarantee of replacement,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Coalition supports an orderly transition towards a cleaner energy future, but you don’t demolish 80% of the nation’s baseload energy capacity without a replacement ready to go,” Mr O’Brien said. “Labor is creating an energy vacuum which could result in brownouts and blackouts becoming the norm over coming years.”
In 2017 when the Liddell Power Station first announced its closure, the Coalition worked closely with AGL to extend its operations and commissioned the 660MW Kurri Kurri gas plant to replace the gaping hole in the energy market.
Standing near the site of the proposed 660MW Kurri Kurri gas power station, Mr O’Brien called on the Albanese Labor Government to scrap its plan for the Kurri Kurri power station to run on 30 percent green hydrogen.
“Labor’s plan for Kurri Kurri to run on 30 percent hydrogen is neither achievable nor costed, and its pig-headed refusal to accept that reality only heightens the risk of the lights going out,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Labor Government’s plan to have the Kurri Kurri plant 30 per cent hydrogen ready on day one has seen the projects price tag more than double and its timeline delayed by at least a year.
“As the electricity market becomes more chaotic, Australian households and businesses are paying more for less – not only are power bills skyrocketing but it’s an unreliable service they’re paying for,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Labor is gambling on NSW’s future based on an ideological frolic, and everyday Australians will pay the price.”