What’s next for Liddell Power Station?
This year, the Liddell coal-fired Power Station in northern NSW became a controversial focal point for energy politics in Australia. Liddell – which was opened in 1972 and is now owned by AGL – is scheduled for closure in 2022. The Commonwealth Government however, has insisted that the the plant be kept open until 2027.
The uncertain future of Liddell raises important questions about Australia’s energy future: How do we best manage the retirement of coal-fired power stations as they reach the ends of their lives? And what are the cleanest and most cost-effective options to replace them?
Nic was joined by Chris Dunstan, Research Director from the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS to discuss the future of Australia’s ageing coal plants. The Institute’s new report “Beyond Coal: Alternatives to extending the life of Liddell” calculated that replacing Liddell with zero emission clean energy would be far cheaper than extending its current operations. Care must be taken however, to ensure that new infrastructure can meet peak demand, and that communities are not gouged by unemployment.