The Minerals Council of Australia strongly supports the Turnbull Government’s decision to ask the Australian Electricity Market Operator to investigate how best to ensure the continued supply of low-cost, dispatchable baseload power as older power stations retire over the next decade.

This is an important and timely initiative that will help provide Australian households and businesses with reliable and low cost energy over the medium and long term.

Over the past five years around 5,700 MW of baseload energy has retired, with recent retirements sparking sharp increases in power prices.  Over the next 15 years another 8,000 MW of baseload energy is likely to retire.

The minerals sector supports the fact that the inquiry will be guided by a technology neutral approach.

As the lowest cost generation option, new High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) coal fired power generation represents an obvious option to replace the retiring baseload plant while delivering a sharply lower carbon footprint.

But all low cost, reliable energy options should be on the table to ensure the best deal for Australian households and businesses.

The minerals sector also welcomes the decision to pursue the abolition of the Limited Merits Review process, a step that should reduce future network costs and assist in lowering the cost of electricity.

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