Another foot-in-mouth disease outburst by PM, obvious, even to Blind Freddy that $60B is mistaken capital cost.
Ageing power plants. More than 75% of our fossil-fuel power plants are past their use-by date. Assuming a 50-year lifetime, more than a third of the existing coal-fired power plants will be retired by 2030. Replacing these with the most cost-effective new sources has to happen anyway, and this inevitably means new capital costs – no matter what the energy source.
Wind’s cost-effectiveness. According to the 2013 Australian Energy Technology Assessment of LCOE, wind is the most cost-effective form of commercially proven new-build power generation, even without a price on carbon (and will be joined by large scale solar by 2030). The 2014 ACT Government wind power reverse auction has now demonstrated this to be the case, having achieved an LCOE of A$81.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) locked in for 20 years. This is equivalent to a discounted LCOE of about A$65 per MWh at current rates, which outcompetes existing gas and new-build coal generation.