More coal – no thanks

SMH: More coal will burn to feed air-con frenzy

Faced with surging demand for power-hungry air-conditioners, the NSW Government is preparing to approve the extension of a coal-fired electricity plant near Lithgow and has cleared the way for more coal power stations.

But Bob Carr, conscious of his reputation as an environmentally sensitive premier, will also announce new greenhouse targets for 2020 and 2050 and a regime that puts pressure on the power industry to adopt cleaner technology, such as gas.

…It will anger green groups that have campaigned for cleaner, gas-powered generation and renewable energy incentives.

Re: that last para – no shit! This is disappointing, but not the end of the matter. “Cleared the way” can be read as “does not rule out”, but can also be viewed as “likely”, depending on your level of cynicism.

The government will say we “need” another coal-fired power station. There is much evidence to the contrary. What will be interesting is to see the greenhouse targets are. The green power approach of NSW leaves a lot to be desired – with power cos reluctant to change nor make it easy to get green power into your home.

(Disclosure: I work for WWF-Australia. These views are my own.)