Power generator AGL estimates that the cost of replacing Australia’s ageing power generation fleet in the coming decade will come at around $250 billion.
AGL, which has plans to exist fossil fuel generation by 2050, says that replacement renewable generation will cost $150 billion, with another $100 billion for storage and “firming,” which includes batteries and back up gas fired plants.
In a presentation to investors, AGL chief financial officer Brett Redman said the pace of change would be driven by the cost and capacity of batteries.
“We think its pretty unambiguous,” Redman said to a previously unreported briefing for Macquarie Bank, in comments published by the Australian this week.
“Even if you don’t accept the scientific orthodoxy on climate change, it cinreasingly appears that technological developments in renewables will outpace the efficience of thermal energy in coming years.”
The company has previously said that 75 percent of Australia’s power generation is past its used by date.
The reports come as AGL is embroiled in politicking with the Federal Government, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull putting pressure on the company to keep open the coal fired Liddell facility in the Hunter Valley, slated for closure in 2022.
Turnbull, once considered an advocate of renewable energy, is increasingly accused of pandering to the coal lobby and conservatives in his own party, who want to scrap any Renewable Energy Target, ignore the recommendations of the Finkel Review and institute a “Reliable” energy target with coal as a centrepiece.
Increasingy, renewable energy policy is being left to the states. This week the Queensland Government announced a shortlist of five for the Aldoga renewable energy project, which is expected to support 450 MW of capacity.
Expressions of interest have been called to transform a 1200 hectrae site near Gladstone into a renewable energy project.