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June 23, 2022 3 min read

WA to End Coal-Fired Power Entirely!

Happy Good Earth News day GFZs! It's that time of the week again!

We have an absolute ripper in-store today that is close to home! 

Earlier this week, the ABC reported that WA was closing its state-owned coal plants by 2030… Did you lean in a little closer to check you read that correctly? Us too!

Mark McGowan says the state's two remaining coal-fired power stations are becoming less viable due to the rise of renewable energy! Well, we don't want to say we told you so! 

WA will join South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania to be coal-free, and Australia could exit coal-fired power entirely by 2043.

*chills of excitement* 

WA Coal Phase out 2030

Why Should We Close Coal Plants?

Coal plants emit pollutants into our waterways, land and air. The air pollution from coal-fired power plants includes; sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM), and heavy metals, leading to smog and acid rain…

The toxins it leaches into the environment cause numerous respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular effects, including asthma, cancer, heart and lung ailments and neurological problems.

But we don't want to focus on what went wrong, we want to get excited about what positive change is coming!!

What Will Take The Place of Coal-Fired Power?

Did you know coal, solar, and gas were providing roughly equal market shares as of earlier last month…

That's right, GFZ's renewables and solar power is on the rise and could eliminate the need for fossil fuels and coal-powered plants!

 "I'm walking on sunshiiinnnee woooahhh" You 100% sang along with that in your head.

Renewable Energy Farm

What's the First Step?!

The first steps are underway, and closures are set to start and be finalised at the end of this year! 

Later this year, the first of the state-owned 854-megawatt Muja power station's units near Collie, south of Perth, will close, with the entire plant to be shut by 2029.

What About Jobs…?

Fear not! With the closure of these plants starting in Collie, an extra half a billion dollars will go to foster new jobs for displaced workers! Not to mention the jobs that will rise with renewable energy! 

"We will be working closely with impacted businesses, workers and communities to ensure we create new jobs and training opportunities to future-proof Collie for the coming decades," The Energy Minister said.

What About the Reliability of Solar and its Costs?! 

Great question! 

We can already feel bills rising enough, but that bill will only increase if we don't move away from coal power!

"Without action to ditch coal, those bills would rise from their current average rate…" McGowan said.

State-owned Synergy runs two coal plants that serve WA's main population centres. It will oversee the investment of an estimated $3.8bn in "new green power infrastructure around the state", including wind farms and new renewable storage!

The government said that by phasing out coal-fired power, Synergy's carbon emissions will be reduced by 80% by 2030, including a 40% emissions reduction on the southwest grid, compared with 2020-21 levels.

 Will the next step be to join our neighbour Tassy in becoming carbon negative? Let's do this! 

Loved this story? Send this link to anyone who can use some good news today and check out our story on Shell being ordered to cut carbon emissions by 45%...!

GFZ Team x

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