PM denies new coal
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his Government will not build new coal-fired power stations, and that the debate on the clean energy target (CET) should move ahead.
The Federal Government has accepted 49 of 50 recommendations from the Finkel report on Australian energy, leaving only the contentious CET on the table.
Pro-coal Coalition MPs including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Craig Kelly and former prime minister Tony Abbott new coal power plants to be included in the target.
The Prime Minister has this week told reporters that the Government has “no plans” to build or fund new coal-fired power stations, but shied away from detailing exactly what he wanted for the CET.
“We are already taking strong steps on Snowy Hydro which is a Government owned energy company,” Mr Turnbull told the ABC.
“It is a vitally important national project — it's a vitally important national infrastructure.
“We've certainly funded to a large degree a lot of green energy.
“It's about doing stuff outside the box.”
The Federal Government has opened the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) to coal power projects.
Mr Turnbull was keen to stress the need for reliable baseload power.
“The critical thing to remember is that if you bring in intermittent renewables like wind and solar, obviously wind doesn't blow all the time, sun doesn't shine all the time,” Mr Turnbull said.
“If you bring them in and replace baseload power that generates all the time, you run the risk of ending up with inadequate baseload power, massive spikes in energy prices and huge reliance on gas.”