State Parliament would this week be briefed on the benefits of replacing the coal-fired power stations in Port Augusta with concentrating solar thermal power.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan said without the briefing the Liberal party does not have a position on the proposal. “I can say that there will not be another coal-fired power station built in this country,” he said. All members of parliament are invited to attend, as well as their staff.
“Any sensible person must be interested in a policy that could provide sustainable, renewable and affordable electricity,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.
Although solar thermal ticks some boxes for Mr van Holst Pellekaan, he is concerned about the ongoing livelihood of Leigh Creek.
“Someone may ask ‘Do you want 250 jobs or do you want clean energy that’s good for the environment’, it’s never that simple,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.
A spokesman for the minister of mineral resources said the government is committed to a renewable energy target of 33 per cent by 2020, but the power station will continue to rely on coal.