The South Australian government has dumped on Canberra’s call to promote clean coal power generation, describing it as a ‘fairytale’.
"Clean coal doesn't exist. There is no country in the world that is going to be making a 50-year investment decision to produce a new coal-fired power station. It's not realistic," SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said on Thursday.
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Commonwealth was looking at all options to secure affordable energy and that included subsidising new high-efficiency, low-emission coal power plants.
At the same time, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged to make energy policy a priority this year with the aim of achieving affordable, secure and reliable power.
Mr Turnbull said he couldn't see why the Clean Energy Finance Corporation shouldn't look at funding high-efficiency low-emissions power plants.
But Mr Koutsantonis said market analysts had already predicted clean coal would produce very expensive power and that was the reason not one of the plants had been constructed in Australia.
"Clean coal" is a myth being perpetrated by a prime minister who is clearly owned by the coal industry," he said.
"If clean coal technology was viable then it would already be operating in the market - the fact is that it is not.
"Companies are not going to make a 50-year investment decision to build new coal-fired power stations when gas and renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner."