Queensland explosion and blackouts prove that coal power is dangerous and unreliable

Greenpeace

The explosion at the Callide coal burning power station and widespread power outages across Queensland provide more proof that coal power is dangerous and has no place in a modern energy system.

Earlier this afternoon Police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to the Callide Power Station at Biloela to respond to a turbine fire that forced the power station to be evacuated and caused a reported 400,000 customers across the state to lose power. [1]

The massive blackout in Queensland and parts of New South Wales caused by an explosion and fire at a coal-burning power station demonstrates that coal power is dangerous and unreliable,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Glenn Walker said.

“Burning coal is the number one cause of climate change and it’s also clearly unsafe and unreliable. That’s why all coal-burning power stations in Australia need to be shut by 2030 and replaced with clean energy like wind and solar, in line with calls from the International Energy Agency and the UN.

“We call for the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Energy Regulator to conduct an urgent safety and reliability inquiry into all coal-burning power stations to fully uncover the risks posed by this outdated and increasingly unreliable energy source.”

So far this year coal burning power stations have failed 27 times leading to price spikes and destabilising the electricity network as large amounts of power suddenly and unexpectedly leave the grid. [2]

In 2018 shows, gas and coal power stations broke down 135 times, at a rate of one breakdown every 2.7 days. [3]

Notes

[1] https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/queensland-hit-by-huge-power-outage-20210525-p57v1c

[2] https://australiainstitute.org.au/initiative/gas-coal-watch/

[3] https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/gas-coal-power-plants-135-breakdowns-in-2018/#:~:text=New%20research%20shows%20that%20gas,are%20faring%20just%20as%20poorly.

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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