The New South Wales (NSW) State Government has entered talks with Origin Energy to discuss extending the life of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station. The move comes after the nation’s grid operator flagged concerns of energy shortfalls over the next ten years as it retires 62% of its coal power fleet. Tim Buckley, director at the think tank Climate Energy Finance, was critical of the proposals for the Eraring plant stating: “The idea that a 50-year-old plant can just be extended without serious risk of catastrophic failure is ridiculous.”
ABC 702 Sydney
What is the real cost to transition? The cost of retaining Eraring for an additional 1-2 years would be $200-$400 per year. Eraring has no long term supply locked in beyond 2025, therefore will pay export price parity for coal supply. Locking in coal infrastructure will slow down the transition to renewables. We need to accelerate the deployment of low cost, zero emissions, replacement capacity, not continue with an unreliable coal clunker. Coal subsidies will crowd out replacement capacity that would otherwise permanently solve the problem.
Channel 9 News
There are concerns that current construction market pressures could delay the rollout of wind, solar, and battery projects needed to plug supply gaps when Eraring comes offline in 2025. “It’s sensible to look at what alternatives $200-$400m/yr provide for New South Wales citizens,” Tim Buckley.
Energy analyst Tim Buckley contests O’Reilly and AEMO’s views on the ability of
Eraring to boost electricity system reliability. “Extending the life of a coal clunker
that is one of the oldest power plants in the electricity system is not a way to boost
Keeping Eraring open will generate around 9 million tonnes of additional CO2
emissions a year — around 2.8% of Australia’s total — and cost $1.2 billion to offset
via the purchase of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), a recent Nexa Advisory
The Sydney Morning Herald
The NSW government has decided there is a case for extending the life of the nation’s largest coal-fired power station to mitigate our energy risk. But the growing risk for NSW actually lies in relying on one near-moribund plant at Eraring in Lake Macquarie for 16 per cent of power generation. In 2022, forced outages at Australia’s ageing coal power fleet meant coal capacity fell way short of forecasts, crippling the national electricity market. Keeping this increasingly unreliable coal power generator on life support as it enters terminal decline, and paying its operator hundreds of millions in public subsidies to do so, is totally unjustified.
The NSW government will “engage with Origin Energy” on a proposed extension of the life of Australia’s largest black coal-fired power plant. Tim Buckley, from Clean Energy Finance, said providing government subsidies to keep Eraring open could lead to more setbacks for future wind and solar projects. “Every time you extend a coal plant, you delay and defer expenditure on replacement capacity,” he told ABC Radio Sydney. “So these subsidies would be crowding out the replacement capacity that would permanently solve the problem,” he said.
The NSW government has this morning confirmed it will “engage” with Origin Energy to extend operations of the 2.9 GW Eraring power station. The announcement quickly drew criticism, with Climate Energy Finance director, Tim Buckley, calling the move “totally unjustified.” Buckley added public money would be far better spent accelerating the transition. He called on the NSW government to replicate Queensland’s progressive coal export royalty program, adding: “it’s high time the myth of the presumed centrality of end-of-life, expensive, high emissions coal power to energy security was busted.”
The Minns government will “engage” with the owner of Australia’s biggest coal-fired power station for a “temporary” extension of its operating life, prioritising short-term energy security over emissions reductions. A final cost and length of extending operations of the 2,880-megawatt Eraring power plant near Newcastle would hinge on negotiations with owner Origin Energy, the government said on Tuesday. Energy analyst Tim Buckley, have called on the government to use the funds it would pay Origin to instead quicken the rollout of rooftop solar and batteries for households and businesses to limit the risk of blackouts.
Michael West Media
According to energy expert Tim Buckley, “Premier Minns has said categorically he does not want to keep any coal-fired power. Plants running a minute longer than absolutely necessary.”
“We would like to see the government evaluate the cost of all the options, rather than this bullshit firestorm,” Buckley said in reference to calls for the continuing operation of the plant.
According to Buckley, “the coal lobby has been pushing the government to subsidise Origin to stay open despite Origin’s protestations that they don’t like losing money.”
The Australian Financial Review
Last month, leaks emerged suggesting the NSW Electricity Supply and Reliability Review commissioned by the Minns Labor government would recommend taxpayer subsidies to extend the life of Australia’s biggest coal power station, Eraring, on the NSW Central Coast, beyond its closure date of 2025. The recommendation is so contentious that the NSW government has decided to delay its release, originally slated for August.
Australian Energy Market Operator modelling out last week – its 10-year electricity sector reliability forecast – gives new insight into the viability of on-time closure. Significantly, it shows that with an effective policy response, there is no electricity supply threat to NSW in relation to shuttering Eraring in 2025.
A story by the political editor of Australian Community Media for the Canberra Times with Tim Buckley as the sole spokesperson, detailing the concept and benefits of “orchestration” of distributed and consumer energy resources.
ABC Radio National The World Today
Tim Buckely told ABC Radio National The World Today, that there is nearly 250GW of renewable energy storage and transmission projects ready to go, and it would only 10-20% of them to deliver reliable energy. However, there is a lack of
grid access, details and knowledge from the investors side, which requires our state government to work with the Federal government to accelerate the approval of the key projects that can be delivered in the next 1-2 years view, so we can make sure that the grid stays reliable.