‘Australian coal-fired power not viable’, poll suggests

The majority of Australian voters believe the government should be seeking alternative energy sources other than coal, a new poll has indicated.

While 33 per cent of participants in the latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll say coal-fired power still has role to play, 61 per cent are reportedly unconvinced.

The poll comes as the doors close for a final time at Hazelwood Power Station this week and other fuel sources are being trialled.

In a report by the AFR, it also claims that “no established energy investor in Australia believes building a new coal-fired power station is viable”.

Coal-fired energy is more popular among Coalition voters (51 per cent), according to the poll, while it is less so with Labor (24 per cent) and Green (4 per cent).

Energy minister Josh Frydenberg and resources minister Matt Canavan have been in discussions with potential investors to build a “clean coal power station”, which would require “a taxpayer subsidy from the $5 billion Northern Australia Fund”.

“I have met with some people who are interested in investing in that sector and so has Minister Canavan,” said Frydenberg.

“But they are a long way off from firm commitments and clearly, those discussions will continue.”

Senator Canavan added that “there is nobody of any credibility or authority in the world energy sector [who] will not tell you that coal is going to have a big part to play”.