North Queensland Bulk Ports general manager planning Hay Point Bob Brunner and CEO Jeff Stewart-Harris, with Dudgeon Point behind them. Economist Tim Buckley is not surprised the area’s coal port development has been put on hold.
North Queensland Bulk Ports general manager planning Hay Point Bob Brunner and CEO Jeff Stewart-Harris, with Dudgeon Point behind them. Economist Tim Buckley is not surprised the area’s coal port development has been put on hold. Lee Constable

Coal has no long term future in region: economist

RENEWABLE energy is the future of our economy.

This is the view of an economist, who made the comments in light of the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminal Development lapse.

Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Tim Buckley said coal had no long-term future in our region.

"The solution is diversity in our industry. Mackay has brilliant potential in a range of industries," Mr Buckley said.

"Distributed solar energy is commercially viable today.

"Germany has invested billions into sustainable energy solutions.

"Our government has to realise the way forward is by taking a similar approach.

"We have great potential for solar energy, compared to Germany. Yet we pay among the highest electricity prices in the developed world.

"The energy landscape is changing rapidly, so the Dudgeon Point Development lapse doesn't come as a surprise," Mr Buckley said.

"The construction of a smaller terminal instead is not feasible either.

"Existing coal ports in our region are operating at far less than full capacity.

"Last month, China's president announced an energy revolution.

"This highlights the rapid deterioration of the global coal industry.

"Russia has signed a US$400 billion investment alliance with China, which will see a huge amount of Russian gas be exported.

"China is aware they are too reliant on coal; they want to move away from this reliance rapidly for strategic political, environmental, economic and military reasons.

"Clearly the world's seaborne coal markets have entered a prolonged period of oversupply.

"The key debate now is if this is going to be a prolonged cyclical downturn or in fact is the commencement of a structural decline in the seaborne traded coal market."

North Queensland Bulk Ports intends to complete a port master planning exercise over the coming year to comply with the proposed Queensland Ports Strategy and to then revisit the scope of the Dudgeon Point project.

Are we too reliant on coal?

This poll ended on 24 June 2014.

Current Results

Yes

65%

No

34%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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