Re: I thought AGL was on the cutting edge of renewables?
We understand your concern. We operate the country’s largest private renewable electricity generation portfolio. We also operate the largest coal portfolio in Australia, so we realise we are integral to the move out of non-renewable energy.
We envisage an ongoing role for gas to meet peak and intermittent demand. Over time technology will evolve to improve battery storage but for the foreseeable future, gas will continue to be an important part of the energy mix.
For us, gas is an enabler of energy transition. Over 80 per cent of electricity produced in Australia is sourced from the combustion of fossil fuels. Given the sheer scale, decarbonising the generation sector is likely to take several decades of replacing the existing generation fleet with low-emissions substitute technology such as solar and windfarms. To deliver reliable and sustainable energy at the lowest cost possible requires renewable energy from wind and solar combined with more flexible energy sources, like quick-start gas generation, that can be turned on whenever renewables are not available or don’t meet demand.
This mix of technologies can replace AGL’s Liddell coal plant when it closes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum. Reliable gas supply is a critical component of this replacement plan.
AGL have an obligation to provide energy to our 1.4m gas customers. As an energy company, people rely on us to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of gas to their homes and businesses.
As Australia and AGL transition to a decarbonised electricity network, the national grid requires backup for periods where intermittent renewables aren’t generating the required supply.
AGL is retiring its fleet of coal fired power stations, with the first closure being Liddell in 2022, Bayswater in 2035, and Loy Yang A in 2048.
The proposed project is still in the feasibility stage. The AGL Board have also yet to decide to fund the proposed project. A final investment decision will not be made until the final EES assessment is complete.