Victorian power reliable and cleaner since closure of Hazelwood: report

New research commissioned by Environment Victoria, has shown that Victoria’s electricity system has been reliable and less polluting in the past 12 months following the closure of the 1600 megawatt (MW) Hazelwood power station.

Environment Victoria's Dr Nicholas Aberle today said that closing Hazelwood has cut Victoria’s climate pollution by 12 million tonnes, which is about 10 percent.

“It means that we’re cleaning up our act and making progress towards meeting the Andrews government’s target of a 15-20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.

“Nationally, when accounting for how electricity generation changed in other states in response to Hazelwood closing, we avoided 4.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This makes the closure of Hazelwood one of the most significant steps we’ve taken in Australia to tackle global warming.”

The analysis of Victoria’s electricity mix over the last 12 months, carried out by Green Energy Markets, also shows that:

  • The supply side of the electricity system was reliable through a hot summer, despite some commentators trying to spread panic about shortages.

  • Victoria’s electricity consumption continues to fall, driven partly by growth in energy efficiency and rooftop solar.

  • Diesel generators brought in as emergency back-up were never even turned on.

  • Victorian coal power stations failed many times over summer, with multiple large coal units offline simultaneously.

  • The loss of Hazelwood’s capacity meant that Victoria exported less electricity to other states, and at times imported more electricity. Gas generation increased slightly, partly due to Hazelwood’s closure, and partly due to less hydro output.

  • The pipeline of clean energy projects already under construction is expected to generate 4712 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

The report can be downloaded here.

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