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Every Hour is Earth Hour

The earth is facing a climate emergency, the ongoing burning of fossil fuels for energy production is the leading cause of catastrophic climate change. Of all the fossil fuels, brown coal is the dirtiest and most greenhouse gas intensive. Australia is one of the biggest polluters in the world per capita, and of all the states in Australia, Victoria is the worst offender, because of our reliance on brown coal for 80% of our electricity generation.

To tackle the climate emergency, we must do more than switching off hour lights for one hour once a year. We must switch off coal and switch on renewables. Every hour must be earth hour.

Hazelwood

Hazelwood (located in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, less than two hours from Melbourne) is the dirtiest power station in Australia and the most polluting power station in the industrialised world (based on CO2 per megawatt hour sent out). (link)

Hazelwood Greenhouse Pollution

A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report found that Hazelwood emitted 1.58 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated in 2004. This is more than the dirtiest power stations in other industralised countries, including the USA, Mexico and the Czech Republic. This means that the forty year old power station emits an astonishing 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which is equivalent to over 9% of Australia’s carbon emissions from electricity generation (and over 5% of Australia’s total carbon emissions). (link)

Therefore, in order for Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to meet his poultry 5% emission reduction target, all he has to do is shut down Hazelwood.

It’s time… to decommission Hazelwood

Hazelwood is a dinosaur of the 1950s, built using out-dated technology. The original plan for the six 200 MW generating units was approved in 1959, and the first generating unit was commissioned in 1969. In 1965 an additional two 200MW units were approved and commissioned in 1970 and 1971.

Hazelwood was scheduled to be decommissioned by this year (2009), because of its excessive carbon dioxide emissions(link). However, in 2005 the Victorian Government made a decision to renew Hazelwood’s license allowing it to remain operation until 2031 (). This decision to keep Hazelwood operating past its proper decommission date, will contribute 445 million extra tonnes of greenhouse pollution.

If the Rudd government is serious about tackling climate change, decommissioning Hazelwood has to be one of the first steps. Hazelwood is a polluting dinosaur, who’s time is up.

Power Retailer

Hazelwood is owned by International Power Australia (IPRA) which sells its coal fired electricity through its retailer Simply Energy in Victoria and South Australia.

Switch off Coal… Switch on Renewables

We need a rapid transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. The potential for green jobs in the Latrobe Valley far outweigh the current jobs that exist in the coal industry. Moving towards a renewable energy future in the Latrobe Valley is a win-win for all.

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