Since 2007, our power cost has risen 120 per cent, from 9 cents a kilowatt-hour to more than 20 cents.
We were the third cheapest in the OECD and the fifth cheapest out of the 30 countries. We had cheaper power than the US and Canada.
That has all changed according to the latest report by the International Energy Agency, reported in The Australian ($) this past weekend.
Australia’s policy stalemate has caused spiralling electricity prices and frittered away the nation’s competitive advantage, destroying manufacturing in the process.
For a nation blessed with such an abundance of natural mineral and energy wealth, we are not deploying it to the advantage of the population.
As we transition toward a zero-emissions future, the balance between affordability, reliability and emissions needs to be carefully planned and managed.
We need reliable, affordable baseload power to keep the lights on and support jobs. Gas has been increasingly called upon to provide dispatchable baseload in recent years, but has become too expensive. Coal and nuclear are the only two options that tick both the affordable and reliable boxes. Nuclear power is also zero emissions, yet remains opposed here in Australia.
This leaves coal.
While we’ve closed South Australia’s Northern power station, Victoria’s Hazelwood power station and prepare to shut Liddell power station in New South Wales in a few years, China has 300 power stations under construction. India has 132 under way. Indonesia 32 and Japan 10. All told, there are some 700 coal fired power stations are under development around the world as we speak.
High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) technology is being deployed to ensure energy and economic security while delivering lower emissions intensity.
Here in Australia, we also have the same ability to balance the transition toward a zero emissions future through the pragmatic use of HELE technology to ensure energy affordability and reliability as the cost of intermittent wind and solar is brought down and their reliability issues are solved in coming decades.
This is where ECT’s Coldry technology comes to the fore.
Many assume HELE technology can’t be deployed in Victoria because of brown coals high water content. And, this is true. In its as-mined form, brown coal can’t be used in HELE technology. It needs to be dried first.
By cost-effectively drying brown coal via our zero-emissions Coldry process, we can create a gateway solution for the deployment of HELE technology in Victoria, reducing the emissions intensity of brown coal electricity production by 30% to 50% while maintaining the affordability and reliability needed to compete in a global economy.
To read more on this hot topic from The Australian, click the link below:
Australian electricity bills double those of Canada
Australian households are paying 60 per cent more for their power than those in the US and double their Canadian counterparts after enjoying the third-lowest electricity prices of any OECD nation a decade ago.