The Conservation Council of SA has applauded public statements from the CEO of Alinta Energy that the company is seriously looking at solar thermal energy as a replacement for Port Augusta’s Playford B brown coal power station.
“We know that Playford B is one of the dirty power stations earmarked for closure under the new carbon price, and it would be very disappointing to see coal simply replaced with gas,” said Chief Executive Tim Kelly.
“Gas is just another fossil fuel, nowhere near as clean as it is often claimed to be, especially as our conventional reserves run out. South Australia has a perfect opportunity to do far better.
“The new Clean Energy Finance Corporation will leverage billions of dollars in investment for renewables on top of existing government grants.
“BHP Billiton, which just announced $23.6 billion in profits, is set to increase our state’s emissions by up to 14% this decade with its Olympic Dam mine expansion.
“BHP Billiton has a moral and social responsibility to invest a small proportion of its enormous wealth to significantly increase the proportion of renewable energy for the expanded mine.
“As well as reducing SA’s greenhouse burden, a high renewable energy commitment to buy both the electricity and GreenPower certificates from this solar plant would make the project options far more attractive to investors.
“Port Augusta doesn’t have to suffer large job losses when Playford B closes. Instead it could be a hub for a renewable region, with downstream manufacturing jobs also up for grabs. We know the local council is interested.
“What needs to happen now is to get all the key players together to look at how this could happen. That must include Alinta Energy, the three levels of government, BHP Billiton, unions and of course the environmental organisations that are calling for this.
“The Conservation Council has been trying to bring these parties together as part of our Green Our Grid campaign. We know Alinta is on board, it is time for some of the others to start taking this proposal seriously,” said Mr Kelly.
The statement referred to in this Media Release can be found using this link. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/brown-coal-solar-thermal
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