V8 Energy, the biggest power company in Australia, is closing more than 100 gigawatts of coal-fired generation.
The closure follows a review by the Australian Energy Market Operator, which said the company had “made significant progress in addressing the negative impacts of its carbon capture and storage system on the Australian economy”.
It was also reported that V8 had signed a deal with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) to sell electricity generated by the plant to the electricity market.
In a statement, Decc said it was “very pleased” to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with V8.
It said it would work with the company to “improve the efficiency of the V8 system, reduce the need for additional emissions, and ensure V8 has the necessary support infrastructure to deliver on the promises it made to consumers.”
The closure of coal plants in Australia is not unusual.
The market for electricity is heavily regulated, with a range of emissions standards.
But the coal industry is not an isolated case.
A study from the International Energy Agency found that Australia’s coal-burning power stations generated around 25 per cent more CO2 emissions than the renewable energy sector.
It found that the industry had “been a major contributor to the climate change mitigation pathway”.
The Australian Energy Regulator says it has taken a “comprehensive” approach to regulating the coal-powered industry and is working with the industry to address the “unprecedented” number of coal closures.
But in a statement to ABC News, the regulator said: “The regulatory environment in Australia requires us to carefully consider every aspect of a new coal power plant and, with the help of the industry, ensure the plant remains in operation.”
As a result, the Regulator has recently completed a comprehensive review of the coal power sector.
“But the regulator has been criticised for the lack of transparency around the closures.
A spokesperson from the regulator told ABC News: “It is critical that consumers have full information about the process for deciding to close a coal power station and are informed when this happens.”