Full phase-out of Hazelwood required for rapid transition from coal

National environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the revelation that the state government is considering closing one quarter of the capacity of the Hazelwood power station, the developed world's dirtiest coal fired station.

Media release 10 July 2010
Friends of the Earth

National environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the revelation that the state government is considering closing one quarter of the capacity of the Hazelwood power station, the developed world's dirtiest coal fired station.

“We will continue to campaign for the political parties to commit to a full phase out of Hazelwood and it's replacement with a mix of energy efficiency and renewable energy within the next term of government” said Friends of the Earth (FoE) campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker.

“We do not believe we should be investing in gas, instead we should be replacing coal with renewables, the energy source of the future. However, we must acknowledge this significant move. A rapid phase-out of Hazelwood would mark the first roll back of coal as a primary source of energy for our state and be a powerfully symbolic action and lead to considerable reductions in our greenhouse emissions. According to The Age newspaper, it is likely that this will reduce Victoria’s greenhouse emissions by around 3 million tonnes a year”.

“This move, if successful, will set a powerful precedent. Over the past year the state government has released a range of policy measures and programs that are setting in place the building blocks of a low carbon future, such as the green jobs and regional development packages. But what is required is substantial direct reductions in greenhouse emissions – and the partial shut-down of capacity at Hazelwood would be a welcome start to this process.”

“If confirmed, a commitment by the government to a rapid staged closure would show vision and leadership and put Victoria ahead of the other states once again on this most pressing of issues. It is impressive given the lack of action by the federal ALP on climate. We urge the Commonwealth to do its share by contributing funds for the buy out.”

“We would see this as the beginning of a profound shift in the debate, one that marks the start of a rapid and complete transition away from coal and into truly renewable energy sources”

Further comment Cam Walker 0419 338 047