As Victoria braces for another sweltering day tomorrow, Member for Morwell Russell Northe has taken the Andrews Government to task following comments made by the Premier in relation to electricity generation reliability in Victoria.
“The problem with coal-fired power is when you need it most it is the least reliable. On the really -extreme demand days, where we need the most energy, we have over recent years seen that form of electricity generation be least reliable. That’s why we are investing like no other government in renewable energy.” Premier, Daniel Andrews, The Age 18 December 2019
“Such comments from the Premier are not only false but they are demeaning to workers and contractors who have worked hard for decades to keep the lights on for homes and businesses in Victoria and beyond”, Mr Northe said.
“It’s little wonder a number of workers have contacted me to express their disappointment at comments made by the Premier”, said Mr Northe.
During Wednesday’s hot weather the facts are that power stations in the Latrobe Valley were operating at approximately 80% of their capacity, whilst wind generation capacity was at approximately 25%.
So how the Premier can say that coal fired power stations are the least reliable source of energy is an absolute fallacy. And of course whilst solar is a great producer of electricity during the day its generation capacity reduces when the sun goes down.
“Whilst the Premier and other Government Ministers might be entitled to their negative view of Latrobe Valley Power Stations, I implore them to at least speak factually about energy security and reliability in Victoria.” Mr Northe said.
Since Hazelwood Power Station closed down, Victoria has become a net importer of electricity, prices have risen substantially, local jobs have been lost and large businesses are being compensated millions of dollars to shut down their operations on hot days.
“It’s also disappointing that the Government continues to create division and demonise certain electricity generation fuels, and it seems you either have to be pro coal/gas or pro renewable. That is nonsense and the reality is that more renewables are coming on line and that’s a positive step, but the energy grid still requires stability in the form of baseload generation from brown coal and gas into the foreseeable future.” Mr Northe concluded.