Coalition’s “clean coal” plan to power heavyweights Gina and Clive in Galilee basin

A 2009 proposal from businessman Clive Palmer that would be used to help provide electricity to Galilee coal mines planned by Palmer himself, Gina Rinehart, and Indian group Adani, has been revealed as the so-called “clean coal” power generator being promoted by the federal government.

Waratah Coal, the company owned by Palmer’s Mineralogy, confirmed to the ABC on Tuesday that it had made an application to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation last Friday to finance a proposed 900MW coal generator that proposes to use an unproven technology, carbon capture and storage.

The revived plan was originated in 2009, when it proposed to bury the emissions from the coal plant under the very same coal province that the three mining groups propose to mine – except that it will be “sequestered” in an “un-mineable” area of coal seams some 1km underground.

The $1.25 billion figure comes from its 2009 estimates, but it is expected that this is well out of the ball-park now. It also does not, the application makes clear, include the cost of carbon capture and sequestration.

No plant in the world has come close to making this a commercially viable proposition and the owners of the most advanced project, Kemper in Georgia, now admit it would be impossible make money from coal generation and CCS.

But that hasn’t stopped the Coalition continuing to push “clean coal” over renewables, despite overwhelming consensus that it would cost at least twice as much – and possibly four times as much with CCS – than wind and solar alternatives.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – who as recently as 2010 supported 100 per cent renewable energy scenarios – has now pitched the Coalition’s energy policy firmly behind the construction of new “ultra supercritical” coal plants.

This comes as new data shows that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, jumping another 2.2 per cent in the last financial year and taking the growth since the repeal of the carbon price to more than 7 per cent, most of which has come from the electricity sector.

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Image Source Via: reneweconomy.com.au

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Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson