Re: effects on greenhouse gas emissions, Ramsar
Thank you for engaging with us.
To even consider this project, we must plan for any possible failures (the worst-case scenarios) assuming they could happen no matter how unlikely. As our Chairman stated at the 2018 AGM ‘Until this company and all companies can get to a position where they have zero incidents in environmental safety or whatever they're not doing a good enough job.‘
We are aware there is significant community concern around the potential impact our project will have on the RAMSAR listed wetland and acknowledge these are of environmental significance. Western Port is an important environmental asset that requires care.
AGL is Australia’s largest corporate emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, AGL has Australia’s largest privately-owned and operated portfolio of large-scale renewable energy assets.
Over 80 per cent of electricity produced in Australia is sourced from the combustion of fossil fuels. To achieve the Paris Agreements’ ‘two degrees’ outcome (or the more ideal and concerted effort of 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels), AGL need to decarbonise our fleet and build on our existing renewable technology. This is likely to take several decades given the sheer scale of replacing the existing generation fleet with low-emissions substitute technology such as solar and windfarms.
Renewables are the future of energy and AGL is committed to getting out of coal from 2022. As we move out of coal, gas will be used to maintain the lowest cost for energy possible and ensure efficient, reliable power generation. A technological issue we have with renewables is the difficulty of energy storage, as we develop technology to solve this (which we expect to soon), we do need to ensure supply to our customers.
When renewables are unavailable, gas can be turned on. Unfortunately, given the sheer scale of replacing the existing generation fleet with low-emissions substitute technology such as solar and windfarms this process may take several decades.
Replacing coal with gas helps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. As an example, mix of renewable and gas 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.