Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: The Forthcoming End of Coal: "Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal and currently uses it to generate the large majority of it electricity...
...The current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, denies the existence of anthropogenic climate change. (Technically, our current Prime Minister is Malcolm Turnbull -- but not really.) Despite all this, Australia will never build another coal power station. The reason is, new coal can't compete with new renewable generating capacity.
Solar and wind power are particularly bad for the economics of coal and coal generation has already been driven out of the state of South Australia where electricity equal to around 50% of its consumption is generated from wind and rooftop solar. Rooftop solar alone was able to provide 48% of the state's total electricity use at one point a month or so ago.
So if coal has no future here where its plentiful, cheap to extract, the air quality is high, and the federal government is bending over backwards to support it, it's not going to have much of a future elsewhere.