AGL boss says coal won't solve crisis
One of Australia's biggest electricity companies says coal will not solve Australia's energy crisis.
AGL chief executive Andy Vesey has urged the Federal Government to adopt the recommendations of the Finkel review of Australia’s future energy needs.
“The economics are relatively simple,” Mr Vesey told the ABC.
“If you look at the price of building large-scale coal, and look at the alternatives such as large-scale renewables that are firmed up with gas, we see the advantage in the long run — what we call the Levelised Cost of Energy — going to those other options.
“We do not believe that new coal plants are going to be the lowest cost options in the market.”
The Federal Government has, since the release of the Finkel review, continued to hint that it could help fund the construction of new coal-fired plants.
Mr Vesey is not excited by that idea.
“My view is simple. I believe the market should depend on private investment and I think when the Government enters a market, it should do so very thoughtfully,” he said.
“What's important is that people invest in the market and if it's private capital or even government capital, is that they choose the lowest cost and most efficient alternatives.
“We don't believe that coal is that.”
He said the wide-ranging review, which was several years in the making, should not be so casually dismissed.
“I think the Finkel Review has to get a very fair hearing,” he said.
“It's important, broad, it covers a lot of bases. The Finkel Review isn't a cafeteria list.
“There's a policy architecture there and we're very hopeful people will give it a good hard look, have conversations and find a way to come out the other end supporting that blueprint.
“Good healthy debate is very important and what's very important for both sides is that people shouldn't be positional.
“They should look at the facts, they should have open and honest conversations and keep in mind who has to be the beneficiary at the end of the day, which is the consuming public.”