AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) has underscored plans to suspended new coal plant projects and switch to solar energy in its Greehouse Gas Policy report released on Friday. The report said the company would close all existing coal-fired power stations by 2050 and will not build or buy any new plants in the meantime. AGL cited carbon dioxide emissions as the key factor for the reduction in coal power. The company, which is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Australia, emits about 40m tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Chief Executive Andrew Vesey said the last of the 1,366,380 solar panels at the company’s Nyngan Solar Plant in western NSW would be install on Friday.
Projects like the Nyngan Solar Plant are part of AGL’s shift to more renewable energy alternatives. The company’s renewable energy assets have been expanded to 1,766 MW (megawatt), or about 17 per cent of its generation capacity. The Nyngan Solar Plant is Australia’s largest solar site and will produce 102 MW for the company. The solar plant was part of a $440m project to expand alternative energy sources in NSW. Mr. Vesey has stated that large energy companies such as AGL need to be on the forefront of energy changes. He also noted that the Australian government needs to take a more active role in the process of decarbonisation. "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," Mr Vesey said.
Shares of AGL are down 13c, or .86 per cent, at $14.94 per share near the end of trading on Friday. Shares of the company have advanced 12.13 per cent so far this year but only .6 per cent in the last 12 months.
Author: Imran Valibhoy
Apr 17, 2015
Since Joining the firm in 2006, Imran has worked on a range of M&A and Capital Market transactions in the natural resources, mining as well as projects in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Wise-owl, Imran worked at Euroz Securities in Perth, aiding in the advisory and valuation of companies in the mining and industrial sectors in Australia. Imran has a Masters in Banking & Finance from City University's Class Business School in London and a Bacheloor degree in Commerce from UWA.