Australia’s energy market operator has said that coal must still be used in the country’s energy mix for the next 20 years less power bills skyrocket.
In a new report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said that the national power network won’t be reliable if coal power stations are closed before the end of their technical lives.
The report said that “this approach is also cost-effective” citing that existing generators can operate at a lower cost than new ones. However, AEMO does not mention any recommendation of expanding the current level of coal power generation.
This report is the blueprint by AEMO for how the nation’s power infrastructure will change over the next 20 years. The report comes as Nationals MPs push for brand new coal power stations.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said that the report showed that removing coal power stations “prematurely” would make the grid unstable and send power costs up for average households.
Mr Frydenberg said that it was “important we listen to the energy market operator”.
The report by AEMO looks at where Australia’s power will be sourced in the future and examines how it will be stored and transferred between home and businesses.
The report estimates that around 30% of existing coal resources will be discontinued over the next two decades. It also stresses that changes to the National Electricity Market are necessary in order to benefit consumers in the future.
Australia’s National Electricity Market is one of the world’s largest power systems, but the AEMO believes that states can share more of their power more evenly. The report makes recommendations that the transfer capacity between states be expanded and that a new transfer between NSW and SA is created.