Coal crackdown will not reduce emissions from WA power

31 Aug, 2010 11:19 AM

LABOR'S promised emissions standards for new coal electricity generators would not cut greenhouse gas emissions from any of the 12 coal power plants proposed in Australia, an analysis of the carbon profiles of each project shows.

During the election campaign, Labor promised to impose new mandatory standards, with a starting point of 0.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, on all new coal plants.

The promise would also require new coal plants to be carbon capture and storage ''ready''. But the standards - which would start next year - would not apply to projects that have already had regulatory approval.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has repeatedly said the standards would ensure ''no more dirty coal-fired power stations'' in Australia.

But an analysis by Greenpeace shows that none of the 12 proposed coal plants would be forced into a redesign or be shelved due to the standards.

The figures show just three of the proposed plants would emit more carbon per megawatt hour of electricity generated than would be allowed under Labor's promised standards.

The proposed Bluewaters 3 and Bluewaters 4 coal plants in Western Australia both have emissions intensity rates of 0.92, and the proposed Coolimba plant in WA will have a rate of 0.9 to 1.0. All three have state government approval and would be exempt from federal Labor's standards.

The emissions intensity for a new coal generator in South Australia - Altona Energy's Arckaringa plant, which is in an early stage of development - remains unknown. Calls to Altona Energy's Australian office went unanswered yesterday.

A proposed brown coal plant in Victoria with emissions standards of between 0.78 and 0.87 was recently withdrawn for redesign to meet a tougher 0.8 standard set by the Victorian government as part of its climate change white paper.

The other seven new plants all have estimated emissions intensity rates below Labor's 0.86 standard. The lowest is the 0.18 at the Wandoan carbon capture project in Queensland.



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