The 51-year-old Hazelwood Power Station is well past its use-by date. It’s the dirtiest coal generator in Australia and is responsible for 15% of Victoria’s greenhouse pollution.
Recently two Harvard fellows estimated that the unseen costs of the plant’s emissions were equivalent to about $900 million a year, putting an end to the myth that coal fired energy was cheap and efficient to produce.
Currently the plant has a licence to keep running until at least 2026. If the plant is allowed to continue not only would it be disastrous in terms of pollution but it would also potentially risk another fire like the one seen in 2014.
Socialists demand that dirty coal-fired power stations are closed down and a transition is made to renewable energy production. Such a transition would be best done by bringing the big energy firms into public hands. That way a sustainable plan could be put in place to protect jobs and communities, as well as the environment.
Communities like Morwell, situated near Hazelwood, could become renewable energy hubs that include TAFE colleges and manufacturing plants. These are the types of solutions that we need to fight for to stop the threat of climate change.
By Anthony Main