Australian authorities intend to reopen closed coal-fired power plants to overcome the country’s energy crisis, resources minister Madeleine King said on Tuesday.
The Australian official said that the decommissioning of aging coal-fired power plants, a process which began in 2020, was “a major driver of the country’s energy crisis.”
Therefore, operators “should return them to service as soon as possible so that Australia can survive the winter with up to 30 additional % of energy capacities”, King noted.
King also pointed out that the refusal to invest in coal-fired power plants and their decommissioning was premature since Australia does not have enough renewable energy sources to make up for the lack of electricity due to their shutdown.
“We need to get coal-fired power plants back online because right now, this is the only way out of the crisis,” she stressed.
Earlier, the country’s climate change and energy minister, Chris Bowen, noted that due to a shortage of gas and rising electricity prices, Australia was on the verge of the most severe energy crisis in the country’s history.
Cold weather conditions in the southeastern and eastern coasts of the continent have increased demand for gas and electricity from consumers, which, along with high global energy prices, has caused a supply crisis and a massive series of blackouts, according to Australian authorities.
Wholesale gas prices topped all-time highs, rising 800% in the first week of June from A$10 ($7.17) to A$800 ($573.28) per gigajoule (25.5 cubic meters).