Australia's largest coal-fired power plant closes seven years ahead of plans
Renewable electricity has become so cheap in Australia that the country's largest coal-fired power plant has become unprofitable and must be shut down earlier than planned.
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The Australian energy company Origin Energy planned to close down the Eraring coal power plant, Australia's largest coal-fired power plant, in 2032. But now the company has decided to close it seven years earlier and decommission already in 2025.
The reason is simply that the renewable electricity prices have fallen to the point where Eraring has become unprofitable sooner than Origin Energy had previously estimated.
To replace the power from Eraring, Origin Energy will build new hydropower plants and invest heavily in batteries that can store electricity from renewable sources. To begin with, the company will create a battery plant with a capacity to hold 700 MW, which is a quarter of Eraring's capacity.
"Australia's energy market is very different from what it was when Eraring was put into operation in the early 1980s. Today, the economic conditions for coal-fired power plants are under heavy pressure from cleaner and cheaper electricity production from solar, wind and batteries", says Frank Calabria, CEO of Origin Energy, in a press release.
A recent report reveals that since the Paris Agreement in 2015, 76 percent of all planned coal-fired power plants have been stopped.
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