Coal generators bleeding money as renewables, rooftop solar push prices down

Greenpeace

Revenue for the operators of coal burning power stations has plunged by $5.4 billion as coal use continues to decline, providing further impetus for AGL, which burns more coal than any other company in Australia, to bring forward its coal closure timeline. [1]

Australia’s use of coal power set a record low in the first three months of this year as large wind and solar farms and rooftop solar depressed electricity prices and took a massive chunk out of coal generators’ revenue, according to the Australian Energy Regulator.

“It’s undeniable that coal is on the way out. The operators of ageing and unreliable coal burning power stations like Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL, need to face the facts, stop chasing their losses and plan now to retire their increasingly unprofitable and highly polluting coal assets by 2030,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Glenn Walker said.

“AGL needs to plan to close its coal burning power stations by 2030 to provide certainty to the market so new renewables can be built quickly and governments can prepare infrastructure and policies for a faster transition to cheap and clean renewable energy.”

The Energy Regulator’s report found that average black coal generation fell to its lowest ever first quarter level with electricity prices in renewables-heavy South Australia reaching lows not seen in almost a decade, driven by low demand due to rooftop solar filling the gap and large-scale renewable generation putting downward pressure on prices.

Notes

[1] https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/performance-reporting/wholesale-markets-quarterly-q1-2021

Energy giant AGL has launched legal action against environmental advocacy organisation Greenpeace Australia Pacific, following the launch of a Greenpeace campaign alleging AGL is Australia’s biggest corporate climate polluter.

AGL requested that the Federal Court order the urgent removal of its logo from Greenpeace’s campaign on the basis that the use of the logo allegedly infringed AGL’s copyright and trademark. The court refused to grant this interim order.

Greenpeace and AGL will now face off in the Federal Court in Sydney on 2 June 2021 in a landmark case that could determine the ability of charities to use corporate logos for the purpose of satire, parody and criticism.

Download photos of Greenpeace at the Federal Court here

Read Greenpeace’s report on AGL here

Read a media briefing of the report here

Images of the advertising creative and school strikers protesting at AGL’s Loy Yang A power station available here

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