The Greens have today warned that the ongoing crisis in the Queensland energy market is a sign of things to come if we continue to rely on an aging coal fleet to keep the grid secure.
It has been reported that the fire at the Callide Power Station left over 470,000 homes and businesses without power, and the market operator was forced to issue a Level 2 Lack of Reserve notice at 4:44pm to manage the risk of further rolling blackouts.
CS Energy, the operator of Callide Power Station (and joint owner of Callide C with multinational InterGen), has announced this morning that one of their generating units may be out for up to 12 months, and are yet to confirm a timeframe for when the three remaining generating units will come back online
These events come at a critical juncture, with Minister Taylor having used his speech at the 2021 Australian Energy Week Conference on Tuesday to spruik a “physical retailer reliability obligation”, a scheme that would force electricity users to pay coal fired power stations for their available capacity.
“The Greens are relieved by the news that no-one was harmed by the fire at Callide Power Station”, said Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens
“However, Tuesday’s events make clear that we cannot rely on coal-fired power stations to keep the lights on while we transition to a zero emissions electricity grid.”
“It’s no surprise that 24 hours since the fire began, the Energy Minister is nowhere to be seen. The Liberals’ lie that coal is required for grid stability is unravelling before their eyes.
“Minister Taylor is trying to smuggle in a new scheme that would force households and business to subsidise our aging coal-fired power stations under the banner of ‘reliability’.
“With Australia’s increasingly unreliable coal-fired power station fleet, now is the time to press the accelerator on the renewables and batteries revolution
“Minister Taylor must now front the media and make clear how his new reliability scheme, which would push up bills for households and businesses, would supposedly prevent events like Tuesday’s coal-fired power outage from happening.