Securing energy, jobs and Australia’s export advantage

A gap in baseload power supply is looming.

Over the past five years, more than 5,300 MW of baseload plant has closed. Between now and 2030 another 8,000 MW of baseload plant is likely to retire. Yet there is nothing to replace these closures with equivalent 24/7 power.

Australia has lost its low energy cost advantage as power prices have moved from some of the lowest to some of the highest in the developed world. Reliability is now also a major concern.

The broader economic consequences are already being seen with a number of major businesses openly questioning their future viability because of energy costs and a lack of reliability. The hollowing out of Australia’s industrial base over the next decade is a real prospect with severe consequences for living standards if this issue is not addressed.

In the Latrobe Valley and more broadly the Gippsland region, Hazelwood’s closure has meant the loss of around 750 direct jobs. In a region already suffering high levels of unemployment, the flow-on impacts are exacerbated. This is contributing to an erosion of the local skills base as people s

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