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‘It will continue to play a vital role for decades to come’: Energy Minister backs coal but won’t build power station

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has signalled new coal could be brought into the system, as a result of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Several government backbenchers are unsatisfied with the current policy and are demanding the construction of a new coal-fired power station.

Mr Frydenberg tells Ray Hadley private investors will be incentivised to build that infrastructure when the policy framework is put in place.

“We do have a lot of coal in our system today and a lot of coal into our future.

“We have already four of these high efficiency, low emissions coal-fired power stations but what we do need to get is the market to work again.

“I’m advised that we will need $250 billion of energy infrastructure in Australia out to 2050. No government can come on your show and promise you that they have deep enough pockets… to pay for that.

“The only way I can get the market working again is with a proper framework and that’s what the guarantee provides.

“We have 20 coal-fired power stations in Australia and they have an average life of 27 years. We need to keep them going for longer to ensure they provide that reliable base-load power into our system.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Following the interview, Ray received a call from an American listener, Richard, calling out some of Minister Frydenberg’s “misleading” ‘facts’ about global energy.

Mr Frydenberg tried to claim other countries are leaning far more towards renewables than Australia.

“Let me explain some numbers to you. 70% of our power comes from coal. By 2030, under the NEG, that number is still 60%.

“If you look in the US it’s 30%.”

Listener Richard says Mr Frydenberg is “very misleading the way he presents things to sell his ideology”.

“When he mentioned America, 30% coal is true, but he also neglects to mention is 20% nuclear and 31.7% natural gas.

“For him to sound like the US is demonising or doesn’t use coal… is ‘very misleading’.”

Click PLAY below to hear Richard’s call in full