Updated May 23, 2018 03:37:13 The Government has announced it will build more than 300 new coal power stations across the country and a new “super” coal plant in South Australia.
The Government also plans to introduce a carbon tax to fund the project.
The announcement comes as the Government faces a review of its carbon emissions reduction plan, which could cost up to $5 billion over the next five years.
It comes as a review into the costs of the new power stations was released, including a report into the cost of the projects.
The new plants will be built in South Australian and Queensland and the Federal Government said it will be “an investment that will provide long-term certainty for South Australia”.
“The Government is committed to supporting the South Australian coal industry, and we are committed to building new coal generating stations in South Ayrshire and South Australia’s north and east,” Minister for Energy and Mines Greg Hunt said.
“We know that new coal generation will be vital to the South Australia economy and we look forward to seeing the new plants in operation in the coming months.”
The Government announced the new coal plants would be built “in partnership with the State Government, private sector partners, and a number of other local communities”.
“As part of the Federal Plan, we will invest more than $4 billion over five years to support the construction of new coal generators in South and South East Australia,” the statement said.
The first new coal plant to be built, at Ainslie in South Adelaide, is scheduled to start operation in 2019.
Mr Hunt said the government was investing $500 million in new power generation capacity to provide for the future.
The State Government has also committed to the purchase of a further 3.4 million tonnes of coal over the first five years of the project and the purchase and export of 2.7 million tonnes over the same period.
The Federal Government has been criticised for not meeting its emissions reduction targets in its first two years of operation.
The report found that the Government had missed its target of a 40 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 and set the 2020 target at 25 per cent.
In addition, the report found the Government did not take any action to ensure the cost to the Australian economy was less than it could be, resulting in significant impacts to economic growth.
The $500m cost to build the new plant is expected to be paid by the State, the Federal government and the State and Federal Government.