The state of Western Australia has decided to shut down all of their state-owned coal fired power plants by year 2030. Saying no to fossil fuel subsidies, the Western Australia government have chosen to save taxpayer money and promote a greener future for our planet.
The remote, resource-rich Australian state currently has two coal power stations near its only major city of Perth. Muja, with a total capacity of 854 megawatts and Collie which outputs a total of 300 megawatts, will both be closed before the end of this decade.
South Australia, the Northern Territory, Capital Territory and Tasmania are already free from coal, but Australia as a whole will only have coal-free energy generation once the last privately owned power station called Bluewater closes.
Sensible Planning and Investment
The Western Australia government has recognised the way the state is using electricity, how that power is being generated and the possible shortcomings in the future. Operating its power grid totally independently from the rest of Australia due to its remote location, the emphasis is on guaranteeing its reliability.
“Without the decision to retire the power stations, over the next decade Western Australia would either see major electricity price hikes or taxpayers would be forced to fund billions of dollars of subsidies to keep the system running”, said Western Australia’s Energy Minister Bill Johnston.
The responsible planning we’re seeing in Western Australia comes in stark contrast to the huge failure of Texas which also operates an independent grid. #Freedom!
It seems Western Australia is finding a way to make renewables work efficiently, keep costs down for consumers and avoid failures. Governments worldwide can learn lessons from this.
Making an investment in renewable energy, Western Australia will increase generation in areas like solar, investing around $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure.
Because the uptake of rooftop solar panels has been really strong among household consumers, coal plants have needed to offload excess power generated during the day at a loss. Leaving things the way they are right now, these losses would have been footed by taxpayers to the tune of $3bn.
Invest in the Future
Instead of wasting taxpayer money to prop up failing industries, Western Australia are securing the future of the state and of course the rest of the world. When renewables are allowed to compete fairly, they develop and grow, providing new opportunities and cleaning up our environment.
“This investment makes economic sense, as it pays for itself by 2030-31, instead of continuing to pay increasing subsidies under the status quo”, said Mark McGowan, premier of Western Australia.
Providing a transition package, the Western Australian government will help local workers transition from working in coal to other areas. “The transition to higher levels of renewables and storage will happen in a sensible, orderly, consultative manner to ensure workers, industry and communities are strongly supported”, the Western Australian government said.
Western Australia are providing a great example of what we need to see more of across the world. No more subsidising fossil fuel, it’s time to invest in the future of our planet.