Flynn pans renewable subsidies

AUSTRALIAN electricity customers are paying about $3 billion a year in subsidies to renewable generators while green groups are placing roadblocks in the way of new coal developments, Whitehaven Coal managing director Paul Flynn said.
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Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said this week that there needed to be energy system reform because customers are being overcharged.  
"Notably, the closure of coal generators in South Australia and Victoria had an immediate impact on wholesale prices," Flynn said.
"South Australia has the highest cost electricity in Australia along with the most renewable and intermittent generators.
"Queensland is the only state with high energy low emission supercritical power stations and is consistently the lowest wholesale cost electricity generator and exports between 500 megawatts and 1000MW a day to NSW."
Flynn said the Finkel Report recommended the deployment of renewables with support from dispatchable generators by 2030.
"However, replacing sub-critical plants with high efficiency low emission plants lowers emissions by between 20% and 40% while providing low cost 24-7 electricity," he said.
Flynn said funding for new thermal coal projects was becoming less straightforward as lending institutions were bullied by green groups.
"Incumbent producers are winners as coal prices can remain higher for longer when little new production is coming to the market," he said.
"Meanwhile demand for coal continues to grow in the Asian region."