Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Stephen Robertson
New conditions for coal-fired power to underpin clean energy future
A fresh approach to coal-fired electricity generation in Queensland will help underpin the State's clean energy future, Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said today.
Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government has revised approval conditions for new coal-fired power stations to support the transition of Queensland's energy sector towards a low carbon future.
"Coal will continue to play a vital role in energy generation and the on-going economic prosperity of Queensland," he said.
"Queensland derives great economic benefit from our vast coal reserves and the government is committed to ensuring the coal industry has a sustainable future.
"We are also committed through our ClimateQ strategy to ensuring a clean energy future for Queensland based on a diverse low carbon and renewable energy mix that doesn't rely on any one fuel or technology.
"Together, these aims realign the government's approach to new coal-fired power generation and position Queensland's energy sector for the future."
Mr Robertson said that under the new conditions no new coal-fired power station will be approved in Queensland unless:
*it uses world's best practice low emission technology in order to achieve the lowest possible levels of emissions, and
*it is carbon capture and storage (CCS) ready and will retrofit that technology within five years of CCS being proven on a commercial scale.
"Coal-fired power stations have higher carbon emissions per unit of electricity produced than most other fuels including gas-fired stations.
"The government's position strikes a balance between maintaining the security of Queensland's energy supply with the urgent need to tackle global carbon emissions.
"It ensures that any new use of coal for electricity generation will use world's best practice equipment and be ready for CCS deployment.
"It provides industry with greater clarity about the future role and expectations for the use of coal in the electricity generating sector.
"Importantly, it complements and extends the Bligh Government's significant investment in accelerating the development and commercial deployment of low emission coal technologies," he said.
Mr Robertson said low emission coal technologies with CCS have the potential to significantly reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.
"We now have a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, the Commonwealth Government has committed to introducing a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and Renewable Energy Target, and significant investments have been made in demonstrating carbon capture and storage technologies around Australia.
"Queensland is committed to ensuring the coal industry has a sustainable future through major public-private partnerships such as the $900 million A21 Coal Fund to develop carbon capture and storage technologies.
"That is why we are working with industry to develop and demonstrate innovative low emission coal and carbon capture and storage technologies through projects like ZeroGen, the Callide Oxyfuel project and Tarong Energy's post-combustion capture project.
"We understand that these new conditions for coal-fired power generation will not satisfy all stakeholders.
"But by acknowledging the critical importance of CCS for the future, by building on our record investment in this technology and by understanding that traditional coal-fired power stations will not be sustainable in the long term, I believe these conditions position the industry well for the future," Mr Robertson said.