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Is the latest idea in Australia’s energy debate really a lifeline for coal?

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The latest big idea in Australia’s energy debate is being portrayed as a lifeline for coal power, but the proposal may not be needed at all.

The idea would lead the federal government to subsidise the construction of new power stations, giving heart to coal advocates who believe Australia needs new coal-fired generators to fill a looming shortage.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is open to the proposal from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but that does not mean voters will be promised a new coal power station in the near future.

The ACCC report is calling for a major shake-up of the energy industry's power structures.

The ACCC proposal is being looked on favourably because it does not choose coal or any other energy source. It fits the constant message from Turnbull and his Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, about being “technology neutral” in setting policy.

Even so, somebody must pay for the new scheme – and that means the taxpayer if this particular idea ever goes........

© Canberra Times