24 May, 2012

Divesting of Coal Fired Power

Divesting of Coal Fired Power

The Qld Government has withdrawn its financial support for the Cloncurry Photo Voltaic Solar Farm to achieve savings for the state’s taxpayers about $5.6 million.  In it Media statement, the Government noted that large-scale solar farms are proven technology & the Qld State Government believes it is up to the private sector to decide whether to invest in, build & operate such projects in Qld.

Should Premier Newman sell Stanwell Corporation & CS Energy to the private sector, for the same reasons that AGL has bought Loy Yang A in Victoria?

The purchase of Loy Yang A will make AGL the equal largest generator of electricity in the Australia.  Up until recently, AGL have pursued a strategy of developing the nation’s lowest carbon intensity in its energy assets, this purchase nearly triples its intensity.

Loy Yang A will act as a “cash cow” for the company, despite the introduction of a carbon price.  AGL propose to use the substantial cash flows to help fund its renewables investment, which it estimates at around $4-$5 billion to meet its share of the renewable energy target. It expects to meet 60-80% that capital cost itself. 

When one considers the transition from fossil fuels to renewables – taking the cash from an older asset like Stanwell & Tarong Power Stations & reinvesting it in renewable certainly makes sense.


Following is the Media Statement from the Qld State Government:

Minister for Energy and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark McArdle

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Cloncurry Solar Farm closure
24 May 2012
Government withdraws its funding from Cloncurry Solar Farm
The Queensland Government today withdrew its financial support for the Cloncurry Solar Farm as part of its campaign to achieve savings for the state’s taxpayers.
Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said the Cloncurry Solar Farm was at a very early stage and withdrawing from the project now would save Queenslanders about $5.6 million.
“These are savings which will benefit all Queenslanders rather than localised climate initiatives,” Mr McArdle said.
“The government’s withdrawal from the project now minimises the cost to taxpayers.
“I want to stress that the Queensland Government’s decision to exit the Cloncurry Solar Farm is not due to concerns about the proponent or their ability to deliver. This is about getting the state’s finances back on track.
“Large-scale solar farms are proven technology and it is up to the private sector to decide whether to invest in, build and operate such projects in Queensland.
“The government is working to establish a stronger renewable and alternative energy sector with a targeted focus on practical research and development of Queensland’s abundant renewable energy resources.
“We are also supporting Queensland businesses to access funding from Commonwealth programs to develop Queensland-based clean energy projects.”
Mr McArdle said the government had informed Ingenero Pty Ltd, which was named preferred tenderer in December 2011 to design, build and operate the 2.128 megawatt solar farm, and the Cloncurry Shire Council.
“The Queensland Government had an option in its contract with Ingenero to cancel the contract at any time for any reason. The government has chosen to exercise this option to save money for Queensland taxpayers.”
Mr McArdle said most of the funds would have been spent on the purchase of photovoltaic panels and racking, but these costs would be saved because the project was at such an early stage.
The government’s financial withdrawal from the solar farm will have no impact on the reliability of electricity supply in Cloncurry as the project’s main aim was to test the performance of a solar farm in north-west Queensland.

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