Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Julia Gillard has admitted coal will continue to be the major source of power generation despite pressure from the Greens to go beyond the carbon tax and eradicate coal-fired power stations altogether.
Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century Gillard sees coal future to middle of the century

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Lou Caruana

The carbon tax, which passed through the Senate this week at the urging of the Greens party, excluded the coal industry from transitional assistance as an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry despite meeting the government’s own criteria.

“We will still be using some coal in the middle of the century but it will be a different energy mix than what we would have had in a business-as-usual case,” Gillard said.

Renewable energy contribution to baseload power supply could increase through technological innovation but it would not be able provide the entire generation volume needed for decades to come.

Greens leader Bob Brown reportedly said in the The Australian newspaper he was not happy at the prospect of coal-fired power stations continuing but their relative contribution to the nation’s electricity supply would be overtaken by renewable power sources.

“The package that passed yesterday is for an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050. That means there will still be 20% greenhouse emissions but what a great target that is,” he reportedly said.

The Australian Coal Association described the carbon tax as a “vote to handicap one of Australia’s largest exports” at a time of uncertainty in the global economy and said it had enshrined in legislation a bias against the coal mining industry.

“Section 145 of the main bill permanently locks coal mining out of the transitional assistance arrangements, regardless of future market conditions or the outcome of any Productivity Commission reviews,” the ACA said.

“No other coal exporting country imposes a tax on fugitive emissions from coal mining.

“In doing so, the carbon tax will make Australia’s coal industry less competitive internationally, without delivering any environmental benefit by way of global emissions reduction.”

Most read Archive

topics

loader

Most read Archive