AGL Energy warns market conditions may spur faster exit from coal

AGL Energy has conceded it may accelerate closure dates for two of Australia’s biggest coal plants again depending on market conditions.

AGL Energy has conceded it may accelerate closure dates for two of Australia’s biggest coal plants again depending on market conditions, underlining the speed of cheap renewables undercutting coal and raising fears of a bumpy transition as the fossil fuel exits the grid.

The Loy Yang power station in Victoria will close early amid climate pressure on its owner, AGL Energy.
The Loy Yang power station in Victoria will close early amid climate pressure on its owner, AGL Energy.

The 180-year-old power giant announced on Thursday a plan to close the doors of the Bayswater coal plant in NSW’s Hunter Valley up to five years early, by 2030, while Victoria’s Loy Yang A facility faces the axe from 2040, instead of its earlier expected retirement in 2048.

AGL chief executive Graeme Hunt revealed those dates could come forward again, implying closures in the 2020s for Bayswater and 2030s for Loy Yang A, as solar and wind rout the economics of baseload coal.

“It’s possible that those dates might come forward, but that depends on what happens in the rest of the system,” Mr Hunt told The Australian after releasing AGL’s half-year results on Thursday.

Read the full article published in The Chronicle 10th February 2022