AGL’s battery investment: excellent step; now repeat
, by Dan Gocher
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) welcomes AGL Energy’s plans to develop an 850MW integrated battery system across NSW, as part of its Liddell closure plan.
The Australian Energy Regulator reported today that the contribution of wind and large-scale solar to the total generation mix has increased from 6% to 13% over the last three years, while the contribution of coal has fallen from 77% to 71%.
Earlier this month, ACCR submitted a resolution to AGL’s Annual General Meeting requesting the company bring forward the closure dates of its Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal-fired power stations.
Commenting on AGL’s announcement, Daniel Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“AGL’s planned investment in batteries is welcome, but the strongest signal it could possibly send to the rest of the market right now, is to bring forward the closure dates of Bayswater and Loy Yang A.
“AGL’s announcement is another proof point that solutions to transitioning our electricity grid away from coal and gas already exist.
“If AGL can replace the Liddell coal-fired power station in 2023 with clean, reliable energy, it remains mind-boggling that it’s prepared to cling onto coal for another 28 years.
“Just yesterday, AGL confirmed its underlying profit after tax declined 22% in FY20 due primarily to an unplanned breakdown at the crippled Loy Yang A plant and lower electricity prices, driven by larger volumes of renewable energy.
“The share of renewables in AGL’s electricity generation has grown just 1% in five years. For all of AGL’s discourse on climate change and executive bonuses linked to climate change, it is simply not transitioning quickly enough.”
“This battery investment is an excellent first step. AGL now needs to step up, protect investors’ interests and make more investments which will take the company into the 21st century.”
Notes for editors
ACCR filed a shareholder resolution with AGL Energy, to be considered at its AGM on 7 October, requesting the company bring forward the dates of its Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal-fired power stations (currently scheduled for 2035 and 2048, respectively).
ACCR’s climate program aims to accelerate Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement. We engage with ASX-listed companies on their climate risk disclosure and the need to set emissions reduction targets consistent with the Paris Agreement, and we also push for reviews by ASX-listed companies of their industry associations’ climate policy advocacy.