The operator of the nation’s electricity grid said it is powerless to delay the closure of coal-fired power plants in Australia and warned renewable developers not to cut corners as a wave of new clean generation connects to the system.
While coal accounts for up to 70 per cent of power grid supply currently, the role of the fossil fuel will largely disappear by 2040 and potentially sooner as rival supply sources such as solar undercut its profitability during daylight hours.
The Australian Energy Market Operator said it expects renewables to dominate the power system and it was not thinking about extending the life of coal as part of the electricity mix.
“Even if we wanted to delay the closure, we actually can’t. It is in the Australian market framework a commercial decision by generators if they want to close,” AEMO’s chief system designer Alex Wonhas told a Wood Mackenzie energy conference.