April 30, 2021 Read More →

Australia Energy Security Board chairman says Hunter Valley ‘doesn’t stack up’

The Guardian:

The chair of Australia’s Energy Security Board says a taxpayer-funded gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley makes little commercial sense given the abundance of cheaper alternatives flooding the market.

The Morrison government is continuing to hold out the prospect of Snowy Hydro building a new plant at Kurri Kurri to replace the power generation gap created by the exit of the ageing Liddell coal-fired plant.

But the ESB chair, Kerry Schott, told Guardian Australia putting more gas into the energy market to support renewables was questionable when gas was “expensive power”.

“One of the reasons given for [a taxpayer-funded plant in the Hunter] is it will flood the market with gas-fired power and when there’s a tonne of supply in the market, prices go down,” Schott said.

“We all learned this in economics. However, that doesn’t work when there are a whole lot of other things around that are cheaper in price, like wind, solar and big batteries, like pumped hydro and we’ve got Snowy 2.0 coming.

“Nobody is going to build it from the private sector because it doesn’t stack up. Because it’s expensive power, it’s hard to see it makes commercial sense.”

[Katharine Murphy and Paul Karp]

More: Australian energy board chair says gas-fired power plant in Hunter Valley ‘doesn’t stack up’

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