Australia’s second largest energy firm has declared that it will shut down all its coal-fired power plants by 2050.
AGL Energy Ltd announced on Friday it would not buy any more coal-fired power stations and would close all its existing fleet within 35 years.
It is Australia’s biggest coal-fired power plant owner and recently acquired that status having purchased two plants from New South Wales state for A$1.5 billion ($1.17 billion) in 2014.
The company stated that it is part of its new “greenhouse gas policy” and represents a dramatic change in policy for the firm who had previously campaigned hard against the extent of the country’s Renewable Energy Target.
Reuters reports that coal delivers nearly two-thirds of Australia’s energy and AGL has stakes in three of the country’s biggest coal-fired power stations. It sells energy to nearly 4 million people, a sixth of the population.
AGL’s recently appointed chief executive officer, Andy Vesey, said the company’s move out of coal-fired power would be “an ongoing, progressive process, managing the efficient operations of our assets, and the transition of our people into new generation technologies and careers”.
“It is important that government policy incentivises 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,” he said in a statement.
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