Fact sheet

New coal in Australia: why the business case doesn't stack up

Coal Energy resources Climate change mitigation Australia


The Prime Minister made reference to the potential role of ultra-supercritical coal and carbon capture and storage in his address at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

This analysis, and others by energy experts and business groups, shows there is no economic reason to invest in this technology.

New coal power stations are too risky for private investors and too expensive for energy users. A new coal plant would only get built with a government-guaranteed subsidy of around $27-44 billion, because:

  • New coal stations will need electricity prices up to four times higher than today to earn sufficient revenue;
  • They are likely to be obsolete by the time they are built, typically in seven to ten years;
  • The power plants under discussion aren’t “clean” - without even more expensive carbon capture and storage, they have higher emissions than the dirtiest gas power plants;
  • New coal is incompatible with Australia’s climate commitments, which require no conventional coal in the electricity mix by 2035.

The business case for new coal in Australia doesn't stack up.

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