PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government will consider new coal-fired power stations as part of efforts to curb rising electricity prices on the east coast, and to ensure reliable future supply.
The government this week also agreed to finalise regulations in the gas sector that would give Australian customers priority access to gas before it is exported, starting in July.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that under the new measures, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) would be tasked to ensure that new continuous dispatchable power is provided, including what support is needed to promote new investment.
Turnbull told journalist that if the AEMO determined that a coal-fired power station was required, the government would “certainly consider” it.
“In terms of a building of a new coal-fired power station, that is not something that can be done in a few years, by the way. So, that is a long-term commitment. But, as you know, I've said in the past that I think that as Australia is the largest seaborne exporter of coal, it would be good if we had a state-of-the-art clean coal power station in Australia,” the Prime Minster said.
“That's not to say that the federal government should be building it or would be building it. It is not the focus. Our job is to focus on ensuring that Australians' energy is secure and it’s reliable and, of course, we meet our emissions reduction obligations.”