Senate committee plan for coal-fired power station closure
Source: The Guardian, 12 Oct 2016
A Senate committee will examine how best to close coal power stations to meet Australia’s climate change targets when the Greens and Labor combine to set up an inquiry on Wednesday.
The Greens and Labor will move a motion to ask the Senate environment and communications references committee to report on mass closures of electricity generators, and expect sufficient crossbench support to set up the inquiry.
It will consider how the retirement of coal power plants can help meet the Paris climate target of limiting global warming to 2C and how to achieve it with “minimal community and individual impact from closures”. That will include ways to attract new investment and jobs to affected communities.
The committee will also consider the increasing amount of electricity generated by renewables, future demand and the “maintenance of electricity supply, affordability and security”.
The concern with energy security echoes the terms of reference of a review of the National Electricity Market by the chief scientist established last week after federal and state energy ministers met to discuss energy security after the South Australian blackout. The committee will provide an interim report by 28 November and a final report by 1 February.
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