Victoria to Bear Brunt of Emissions Trading Burden, ACIL-Tasman Predict

Today’s report by ACIL-Tasman on the future of the Australian energy sector under an emissions trading scheme predicts power station closures that will devastate the Latrobe Valley, dramatically increase electricity prices and require far-reaching and costly adjustments to the Victorian power industry.

The report’s finding show the Brumby Government needs to act to help Victoria cope with the introduction of emissions trading with the least possible damage by:

• insisting that the Commonwealth’s emissions trading package provides adequate assistance to Victoria, particularly for those Victorians who will be hardest hit, and
• acting urgently to identify suitable sites, resolve planning issues and take all other steps necessary to enable new power plants to be constructed as soon as possible to replace those plants facing closure.

The government must also explain why these far-reaching consequences for Victoria have only now been brought to light by this private sector modelling.

“State and Federal Labor have been telling people for years that introduction of emissions trading would be straightforward and low cost. Now it appears that most of the Latrobe Valley power industry is under threat,” Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Robert Clark, said.

“The Brumby Government must tell Victorians whether it knew of this and concealed it from Victorians, or whether it has simply failed to do the work needed to realise the consequences of an emissions trading scheme for the Latrobe Valley and the rest of Victoria.”

The ACIL-Tasman study, released today by the Energy Supply Association of Australia, forecasts that a 20 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 will require the closure of Hazelwood (1640MW), Yallourn (1480MW), Loy Yang B (1020MW) and Energy Brix (195MW), as well as Newport Power Station (500MW).

The report also forecasts that the average wholesale electricity price in Victoria will rise in real terms from $36.27 MWh today to $81.73 MWh in 2020.

Media: Robert Clark 9625 1396 (pager)