Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Senate Inquiry submission on the retirement of coal-fired power stations

Retirement of coal-fired power stations 

The coal industry claims there is “clean coal” technology. We know coal is burnt to produce steam. Steam is converted into electricity and the power grid then distributes it over vast distances to consumers with enormous energy losses through the poles and wires system. Achieving cleaner coal by more efficiently burning it in a furnace can’t fix the larger energy conversion losses in the power system. Carbon capture and storage also can’t work due to further energy losses inherent in the proposed technology and the lack of suitable geology associated with existing plants. So all alleged coal-based solutions to carbon gas pollution problems are false and misleading.

Our society’s demand for cheap energy has driven the demand for polluting, coal fired energy while the extreme external costs are borne by the planet, the local environment, the community and future generations. For power industry change, society must integrate these external carbon pollution costs and damage to the natural environment into the energy market. 

The attached submission below finds society generally ignores the local and regional environmental costs of coal fired power but there are signs for hope. The Colong Foundation submission identifies that the power industry will face up to the consequences of its current outmoded technology when environmental impacts are immediate and universal upon society.