New GHG policy provides pathway to decarbonisation
AGL Energy released a new Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Policy, providing a pathway to decarbonisation of its electricity generation by 2050.
Managing Director and CEO, Andy Vesey, said the company recognised that it has a key role to play in gradually reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable electricity for over 3.8 million Australian households and businesses.
“Australia currently relies significantly on coal and gas to power its homes and industries with 88% of electricity produced from fossil fuels.
“To support the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to work towards the two degree goal  , companies such as AGL need to take the lead,” said Mr Vesey.
“This will be a measured process of decarbonisation, but one which I am proud to spearhead on behalf of AGL. AGL is the nation’s largest privately owned renewable energy investor and we will continue to invest in low-emissions technologies to reduce the emissions intensity of Australia’s electricity supply. It is important that government policy incentivise investment in lower-emitting technology while at the same time ensuring that older, less efficient and reliable power stations are removed from Australia’s energy mix. Decarbonisation and modernisation of Australia’s electricity system are important goals requiring effective policy.
“It will be an ongoing, progressive process, managing the efficient operations of our assets, and the transition of our people into new generation technologies and careers,” he said.
Specifically, the GHG Policy states that AGL will:
- Continue to provide the market with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy options
- Not build, finance or acquire new conventional coal-fired power stations in Australia (i.e. without carbon capture and storage). 
- Not extend the operating life of any of its existing coal-fired power stations
- Close, by 2050, all existing coal-fired power stations in its portfolio
- Improve the GHG efficiency of its operations, and those over which it has influence
- Continue to invest in new renewable and near-zero emission technologies
- Make available innovative and cost-effective solutions for its customers, such as distributed renewable generation, battery storage, and demand management solutions
- Incorporate a forecast of future carbon pricing in all capital expenditure decisions relating to electricity generation
- Continue to be an advocate for effective long-term government policy to reduce Australia’s emissions in a manner that is consistent with the long term interests of consumers and investors.
AGL has 1,766 MW of renewable generation capacity, 17% of the total generation portfolio, making AGL the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Last year alone AGL’s renewable portfolio was responsible for the abatement of 3.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
An AGL Applied Economic Policy and Research Working Paper with further information on climate change policy can be found on aglblog.com.au.
AGL uses three approaches to measure and communicate the greenhouse gas impact of its business, and reports emissions annually through the AGL Sustainability Report.
 The Commonwealth Government has committed to work towards a global agreement that limits global warming to less than 20 C above pre-industrial levels.
 The term conventional is used to refer to coal-fired power plants that have a higher lifecycle emissions intensity than a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT).
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