Posts tagged ‘Hazelwood power station’
The official announcement of Hazelwood’s future has been made by French company Engie on the eve of the Paris Agreement coming into force and the start of the UN climate conference COP22: Hazelwood will close by end of March 2017.
Hazelwood is Australia’s, indeed the industrial world’s, most polluting power station.
We should celebrate this as a definite climate win. Climate Action Moreland, along with many other community groups, have been campaigning for closure of Hazelwood with a just transition for the workers and community since 2009.
Now we need a co-ordinated state and national plan to manage the energy transition to ensure just outcomes for workers and communities. There are more jobs in total in renewables, but they are unlikely to be in the same places as existing coal dependant communities. So we need to assist communities in this transition.
It is clear in Victoria that positive programs of energy efficiency and encouragement of renewables are insufficient by themselves for strong climate action. We need to close down the high emissions intensity of brown coal electricity generation, it is the elephant in the room. Climate Action Moreland has actively campaigned to close down the Hazelwood Power Station since 2009, including producing a brief history of Hazelwood.
This primer to Replace Hazelwood is written by David Spratt from Climate Code Red, provides timely information on why The Victorian Labor Government should act to close Hazelwood.
• The Victorian Government has expressed a desire (though it does not yet have a policy) for a significant expansion of renewable energy in Victoria. This has widespread community support and must be done quickly and at a large scale because climate change is already dangerous. Scientists warn that two degrees Celsius of warming could occur in just two decades, so preserving a safe climate and a healthy future requires rapid de-carbonisation.
• Expanding renewable energy requires coal-generating capacity to be removed from the market because oversupply is crowding out and preventing new investment. The Australian energy market operator says there are about eight gigawatts of surplus generating capacity across the national market, equivalent to five Hazelwood power stations. This includes up to 2.2 gigawatts of brown coal generation that is no longer required in Victoria in 2015, which is greater than Hazelwood’s capacity. Power companies have been lobbying government for capacity to be reduced, and senior Victorian energy department bureaucrats are aware of the need to close coal power stations in order to roll out renewables.
• The Victorian Government has committed to being a leader on climate change. Closing down excess coal generation is a key test of the government’s climate credentials. Coal-fired power stations are the world’s largest source of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions. Victoria cannot make the necessary emissions reductions without addressing the operations of Hazelwood and/or Yallourn power stations.
• Hazelwood power station is old, unsafe and dirty. Based on emissions intensity, it is the third-dirtiest coal power station in the world and the dirtiest in Australia, releasing around 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, almost three per cent of total Australian greenhouse emissions. The Hazelwood majority owner, Engie (formerly GDF Suez), owns the third-most polluting coal-power station fleet in the world. The full – health and carbon pollution – social costs of Hazelwood totalling $900 million per year are borne by the community, rather than the plant’s owners.
• A steady stream of local jobs can be created in the Latrobe Valley with the rehabilitation of mines and decommissioning of plant, which will require a significant workforce stretching well over a decade. The Latrobe Valley needs a strong jobs package and an economic transition plan and new industries because the move from coal to clean wind and solar renewable energy is now both urgent and inevitable.
• Hazelwood power station and mine are a health hazard to local residents, exemplified by the autumn 2014 mine fire. The owners of Hazelwood have abused their social licence and forfeited the right to profit from a power station that is now a major health hazard – both to local people and to all peoples who face the uncertainties of living in a hotter and more extreme climate.
• In July 2010, the Victorian Labor government promised to start shutting Hazelwood and passed climate legislation providing the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators. Restoring the government’s capacity to regulate emissions would be complementary to actions being taken by other governments, including in the United States and Europe.
Download and read the full primer: HZ-primer-v1-lowres
Climate Action Moreland has had a long involvement in the campaign to shut down the Hazelwood Coal power station. This has on occasion entailed working or lobbying with our local MPs. This Thursday 16 April a protest has been called for the steps of Parliament House at 12.30pm to 1.30pm. It was called jointly by Green MPs Adam Bandt the Federal member for Melbourne and Ellen Sandell, the State member for Melbourne. See the Facebook event page registration.
Ms Sandell is due to make a statement in State Parliament on Thursday, calling on the Labor government to replace Hazelwood with clean energy and to support a community-led transition plan for mine rehabilitation and job creation.
We also call on the Premier Dan Andrews and the Labor Government and especially our local Labor MPs that represent Moreland – Jane Garrett (Brunswick), Lizzie Blandthorn (Pascoe Vale) and Frank McGuire (Broadmeadows) – to heed the grassroots campaign to close down Hazelwood.
It is way past time. Read more below on the amount of pollution and impact on health from Hazelwood. David Spratt at Climate Code Red has also detailed past promises by Labor for a phased closure of Hazelwood in his article: Hazelwood: Australia’s dirtiest power station in nation with the world’s dirtiest power industry.
We need urgent action to address climate change and replace coal
Burning coal, prinicpally in coal-fired power stations, is the single largest contributor to global warming. We need a rapid end to fossil fuel use to preserve a safe climate and healthy future. Hazelwood power station in the Latrobe Valley is Australia’s dirtiest power generator, and the third dirtiest in the world.
Hazelwood can be shut without affecting power supplies
Hazelwood is not needed for power generation and closing it will not affect the security of our electricity supplies. Dirty coal power stations such as Hazelwood are a major disincentive to investment in new, large-scale renewable energy. The Australian energy market regulator says there is excess electricity generating capacity and Hazelwood can be closed without affecting energy security.
Coal is a major health hazard
The 2014 Morwell mine fire was a major health hazard. The Hazelwood owners are profiting from a facility that is causing damage to local residents and our future climate. The Latrobe Valley needs jobs. Many jobs will be created through the decommissioning of Hazelwood and in mine rehabilitation.
It produces over 18 million tonnes of carbon pollution and uses 27 billion litres of water every year, and is Australia’s single largest source of dioxin pollution.
A steady stream of jobs can be created in the LaTrobe Valley: decommissioning and mine rehabilitation will require a significant workforce for many years.
So why is Hazelwood still open?
In 1992 the SECV announced that Hazelwood will be retired in 2005, to follow older plants at Newport and Yallourn. But in 2005 the Brack’s Government extends the life of Hazelwood power station. (See Hazelwood power station – A brief history)
The Victorian Labor government promised in July 2010 to start closing Hazelwood. However, the Baillieu/ Napthine government promoted coal and attacked renewable energy. We now have a new Labor government. Labor must make good on its promise to close down Hazelwood.
Make your voice heard
Tell Enengy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio time’s up for Hazelwood.
• Ring on 9465 9033
• Email: lily.d’firstname.lastname@example.org
• tweet #replacehazelwood @LilyDAmbrosioMP
• Join Climate Action Moreland
We need strong community support and strong, loud voices. Join us!
Replace Hazelwood with clean renewable energy
These photos were taken at the Rally to Replace ALL of Hazelwood that happened on Saturday 6th November 2010.
5,000 protesters gathered at the steps of the State Library on Swanston Street and walked peacefully to Parliament House. The message, to urge all political parties in the lead up to the State election on 27th November to commit to replace Hazelwood power station, the countries worst polluting power station, in the next term of government with renewable energy.
Taking Action one report at a time
The Brumby government recently released its Climate Change White Paper, The Action Plan, to much fanfare and praise. Media outlets lauded the plan with headlines like “Brumby lays down gauntlet on carbon” and “Premier’s bold plan on climate takes lead”. Yet those with long memories may well remember another Victorian labor climate announcement that was also the toast of the town.
Back in June 2002 the Bracks government unveiled its Victorian Greenhouse Strategy (VGS). Media releases of the time promised that the strategy would “reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by five to eight million tonnes by 2010”. It would “position Victoria to prosper in a future carbon constrained economy” and “a number of drivers are now in place that will lead to an increased take-up… in the renewable energy sector over the next decade”.
In 2002 our total emissions were 120.5 million tonnes (Mt). The most recent data from the government shows in 2008 that the State’s emissions were 119 Mt and in 2006 were at an all time high of 126 Mt. That’s a long way from the promises laid down in the VGS. (more…)
World Enviroment Day is 10/10/10 this year. And what better way to help the environment than to help replace the most polluting power station in the industrialised world with clean, green – renewable energy.
That’s right CAMsters – it Switch Off Hazelwood time. Last year hundreds of people traveled to the Latrobe Valley to issue the operators of Australia’s largest single source of carbon pollution with a “Community Decommission” order. It was a great fun filled family day with plenty of action from the Carbon Cops, Wombat Warriors, Radical Cheerleaders, Ministers for Energy Resources and Silly Walks, and the Climate Clowns. Check out the ‘flickr photos‘ page from last year. (more…)