The closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley is long overdue and is a key step in the process of shutting down the most emissions-intensive electricity generators in Australia, says the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).
Damien Moyse, the ATA’s policy and research manager, said workers in the valley would need ongoing support and every effort should be made to transition the area towards manufacturing for clean, renewable energy.
Mr Moyse said Hazelwood’s closure should serve as a timely reminder that many different energy options already exist to lower the electricity bills and emissions of Australian households and businesses.
“Analysts have said Hazelwood’s closure will make little difference to energy bills. It’s time to focus now on distributed energy options like solar photovoltaics, thermal efficiency of buildings, efficient heating, cooling and hot water systems and lighting that will save consumers money in the long-term.
“Large-scale, centralised electricity and gas plants have become redundant as ways to manage consumer electricity costs.
“There are now many opportunities in demand-side management to lower energy bills and carbon emissions.”
Through its energy advisory services to consumers, the ATA helps hundreds of people to reduce their bills to under $1000 a year – less than half what most Australian households pay for electricity and gas.
“This can be achieved for very low cost given the continued cost reductions of demand-side technology,” Mr Moyse said.
“The ATA welcomes the retirement of Hazelwood as another step in the transition to a more resilient, efficient and distributed power grid – one that actually works in the long-term interests of energy consumers.”