Future energy demand 'can't be met without fossil fuels'
PM Tony Abbott has correctly put coal's place in true perspective by recently telling reporters it will remain the "foundation of the world's energy needs", the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has said in a recent statement.
The comments came as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned about the continued use of fossil fuels, calling for them to be phased out by 2100.
Brendan Pierson, Chief Executive of MCA said although renewable energy would contribute to the world's growing energy demands, that demand could not be met without fossil fuels.
"New research by the respected Manhattan Institute concludes that between 1990 and 2010, 832 million people gained access to electricity due to coal. By comparison, 65 million people gained access to electricity via non-hydro renewable," Pierson said.
"In overall terms, fossil fuels provided 19 times more new electricity access than did renewables over the last two decades.
"As the Manhattan Institute demonstrates, renewables cannot match the low cost and massive scale of coal-fired electricity production.
"There is no escape from extreme poverty without access to cheap energy and coal is the leading option.
"In the world's fastest growing energy market – Asia – the cost of generating electricity from coal is half the cost of gas, and even more affordable than other alternatives.
"Contrary to the hysterical claims of the Greens, a strong future for coal and lower CO2 emissions are not mutually exclusive.
"Importantly, both major political parties have signalled they will rise above the alarmism and ideological prejudice of extreme anti-coal activists."
The Abbott government is currently negotiating with the ALP to wind back Australia's renewable energy target.
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