Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Picture of Mike Cannon-Brookes by TedXSidney (CC BY-NC-SA license).

Clean Power

If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them — Mike Cannon-Brookes Tries To Buy & Shut Down Worst Coal Plant In Australia

In an astounding turn of events, Atlassian Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has teamed up with Canadian asset manager Brookfield to put in a bid for Australia’s most polluting power company. It was a case of “if you can’t beat them, buy them.” Green capital is trying to push out the old legacy coal barons.

Predictably, the bid was rejected even though it was at current market value. Just as predictably, Australia’s fossil fuel loving prime minister, Scott Morrison, and Minister for Carbon Emissions Increases Angus Taylor both reacted in horror that anyone would want to buy and close down a coal power station. “We need to ensure that our coal-fired generation of electricity runs to its life, because if it doesn’t, electricity prices go up, they don’t go down,” Morrison said this week — pushing the same old FUD that has been disproved time after time.

AGL is Australia’s biggest coal generator and biggest emitter. The company is at the beginning of a complex demerger process — creating Accel Energy to operate its fossil fuel assets and retaining the company’s renewable energy assets and retail services under a rebranded AGL Australia. It’s a plan labelled by Cannon-Brookes as not good for the environment or for the plant’s shareholders.

Cannon-Brookes believes that buyouts by environmentally concerned entities could become a model for how the green energy transition can be achieved more quickly, at lower cost, and with less risk. It could be a way to get cheaper, greener power to customers fast. And the demand is there — from everyone from individual homeowners to aluminum smelters.

AGL recently announced the planned closure of two coal-fired power plants — Bayswater in 2035 and Loy Yang A in 2045. Not fast enough for Cannon-Brookes and Brookfield. Not good enough for the environment (Loy Yang burns highly polluting brown coal). And probably not good enough for shareholders — renewables are increasing rapidly and pushing coal out of the energy business. “If there’s one thing we’ve seen over the last 10 years, if we create that stability, and create that low cost of capital, we will be blown away by how much renewable capacity will come online in that period of time,” Cannon-Brookes told Energy Insiders.

If you can't beat them buy them

Solar power runs the house and charges the car. Photo by David Waterworth/CleanTechnica.

Australian households could lead the world in decarbonization by doing it themselves, according to research supported by Cannon-Brookes, published last year by Dr. Saul Griffith and Rewiring Australia. Rooftop solar in Australia is the cheapest in the world, at a couple of cents per kilowatt-hour. Batteries allow rooftop solar to soak up excess energy during the day and use it at night. If households also replace their cars with electric vehicles and replace gas appliances with electric ones, it’s possible to reach zero emissions and do it this decade.

“Out with the dinosaurs and climate luddites on the AGL board, in with strategic forward thinkers driving decarbonization and energy transition!” said Tim Buckley, from Climate Energy Finance, on LinkedIn.

If you can’t beat them, buy them.

Featured picture of Mike Cannon-Brookes by TedXSidney (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license).

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


You May Also Like

Clean Power

In this time of global cost of living crisis, community housing tenants in Adelaide’s north will enjoy reduced power bills following the installation this...

Clean Transport

Australia’s Woolworths Group, which is not related to South Africa’s Woolworths, has announced that it aims to make all its home delivery trucks 100%...


Brisbane, Queensland, has won the bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic games. These games are the first required to be “climate positive.” In...


Aline repeated this phrase “the good old days” many times as we enjoyed a coffee together in Brisbane, Queensland. I was intrigued by what...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.