Retirement, Not Refurbishment for Old Power Plants

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia ( welcomes the State Government's announcement that Kwinana Power Station Stage C will be shut down from October 2015. 

This news follows the Premier's decision to abandon the attempted refurbishment of the 47-year old Muja A and B plants and the disclosure today that the cost to taxpayers will be in the order of $266 million. 

'Retirement is the right decision for these old, inefficient, largely coal-fired power stations. The attempt to extend the life of old Muja plant was madness -- which is clear as the full cost of that decision has come to light so dramatically over recent weeks,' says Chief Executive Kirsten Rose. 

The mothballing of the Muja plant and the shutdown of the 43-year old Kwinana C power station equates to a total of over 450 megawatts of power that will no longer be provided by fossil fuels. 

'It's high time to make way for more efficient, low-carbon generation -- specifically renewable energy,' says Ms Rose. 

'Our view as a business chamber is that the decision to shut down Kwinana C is an outcome of market dynamics that will benefit both industry and householders.'  

The intent to close Kwinana comes at the same time as the Productivity Commission's comments yesterday that all Australian governments should be divesting themselves of energy utilities.

The Commission said of energy generation assets that "privately owned counterparts are better at efficiently meeting the long-term interests of their customers."

SEA agrees, and contends that new energy generation should be delivered by private industry and generated from renewable sources.

'Western Australia has among the best sun, wind, and marine resources in the world -- fuel sources that are infinite and free. We should be leading the world in low-carbon energy. This is an important step in that direction,' concluded Ms Rose.