Replacing Australia’s oldest operational coal-fired energy plant with renewables could be AUD1.4bn ($1bn) cheaper than extending its life, a report by the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures has discovered.

The 2 GW Liddell plant (pictured) in New South Wales, which produces eight TWh per 12 months and maintains 1 GW of standing capability, got here on-line in 1973 and is scheduled for shutdown in 2022.

But in September the federal government informed the plant’s operator, utility AGL, to increase its life by one other 5 years after the nation’s power market operator warned that shutting it down might lead to a 1 GW capability shortfall in summer season 2023/2024.

The utility was additionally given the choice to promote the plant to an operator that will be keen to maintain it open.

In a report launched this week, the Institute for Sustainable Futures in contrast the price of a five-year life extension for the plant with two different situations.

According to the report, a five-year life extension for the Liddell plant would price AUD3.6bn, whereas AGL’s proposal to interchange the plant with a mixture of latest gas-fired and wind energy, power storage and demand-side administration would price AUD3.3bn.

AGL’s plan features a 100 MW capability improve at its 2640 MW MW Bayswater coal-fired plant, 750 MW of latest gas-fired energy, 50 MW of latest wind energy, 100 MW of demand response and 50 MW of battery power storage.

The least expensive different, the report stated, could be a clear power bundle together with renewables, power effectivity, power storage, demand response and versatile pricing, which is estimated to price round AUD2.2bn. The bundle would come with 1 GW of power effectivity, 600 MW of latest wind energy, 250 MW of demand response and 200 MW of versatile pricing.

In phrases of emissions, the report discovered five-year life extension for the Liddell plant would produce 40 million tonnes of CO2, AGL’s plan would produce 2.5 million tonnes, and a clear power bundle would produce zero.

The Liddell plant has reportedly been plagued with ongoing operational points. In a September information story, Australian paper the Newcastle Herald reported issues together with leaking boiler tubes, deteriorating insulation on excessive voltage energy circuits, an unreliable ash disposal system and corroded coal conveyors.

The paper quoted Kate Coates, Liddell’s normal supervisor, as saying that operating the “outdated girl” plant concerned “a number of fronts of problem … every day” and that the plant was “on a sliding scale to oblivion”.

Meanwhile, Australia’s stated this week that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had been “backed into an ungainly nook” by the report’s conclusions. 

Image credit score: Webaware/Wikimedia Commons


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