Up to five of Australia’s remaining 16 coal power plants could be financially unviable by 2025 due to a flood of cheap solar and wind energy entering the electricity grid, a new report suggests. An analysis by two groups – the consultants Green Energy Markets and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) – found previous estimates had understated the amount of renewable energy likely to enter the national electricity market in the next five years, and its ramifications for the ageing coal fleet. Their report said it underlined the need for a national transition plan to guide the inevitable shift away from coal-fired power, which could accelerate sooner than expected. The two groups found solar and wind plants built between 2018 and 2025 would add 70,000 gigawatt hours of new electricity supply – equivalent to more than a third of what is currently used across the national grid each year. They estimated renewable energy would make up 40% and 50% of electricity by 2025. It would force output from coal and gas-fired power stations to fall by 28% and 78% respectively over the seven years. The report said at least one coal plant was likely to […]

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