Clean State commends the State government today on its decision to close Collie’s remaining Synergy coal-fired power stations before 2030 – which is set to reduce Synergy’s carbon emissions by 80% on 2021 levels in the same year.
The move came as Energy Minister Bill Johnston confirmed renewable energy is now a more financially viable energy option than coal thanks to high uptake of rooftop solar across WA.
The State government also noted that without action, average yearly household electricity costs were projected to increase by more than $1,200 by 2030.
Clean State Director Olivia Chapman said this afternoon’s announcement is a terrific step toward managing WA’s excessive carbon emissions.
“The closure of these fossil fuel power stations is exciting, but what’s even more exciting is WA’s potential to become a renewable energy leader on the world stage – and that starts in places like Collie.”
“At the heart of any major transition are the workers and local communities. The inclusion of a new $200 million Collie Industrial Transition Fund is essential to ensuring that individuals are skilled and upskilled to move into greener jobs.”
In 2020, Clean State presented the Collie transition as one of 26 big ideas for 200,000 WA jobs.
Clean State’s key recommendation to establish a timeline for the planned retirement of coal-fired generation to give certainty to investors and the local workforce has now been achieved.
Clean State is pleased the transition is set to benefit workers as planned under the Just Transition for Collie 2020 roadmap – “an internationally endorsed framework for supporting impacted workers and communities in the transition away from emissions-intensive industries such as coal.”
The plan includes provisions to match former coal workers with new job opportunities, plus a $547.4 million investment in the continued economic growth and development of other Collie industries.
In the largest WA infrastructure project since METRONET, the State is also planning to invest a further $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) to ensure renewable energy stability and create thousands of new jobs in regional WA.
Clean State supports the State government’s decision to pursue economic diversification backed up by strong strategies to upskill and reskill local workers. Providing training and employment opportunities across a range of professions, skills and services will be the best way to safeguard former coal workers and significantly improve WA’s green labour market.