Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen is adamant nuclear energy should not play a role in Australia’s transition away from electricity produced by coal-fired power stations, as he blasted the opposition for peddling a proposal that would cost significantly more than renewables, Report informs via the Australian Financial Review.

Bowen said even the independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had agreed with the Australian Labor Party (Labor) in that having a firm renewable energy grid was the cheapest and fastest way for the country to lower emissions.

“Some people say our plans aren’t ambitious enough. The Liberals are saying, ‘we have too many renewables’ … They say they would have a slower and less forward leaning renewables plan,” Bowen said.

Labor has committed to an 82 per cent national renewable electricity target by 2030.

The energy minister also said there was no credible evidence to suggest the opposition’s plan to phase in nuclear energy, generated by small modular reactors, as coal-fired power stations retired was a good solution.

“They think the answer is to put the most expensive form of power available into our grid when we have no nuclear industry,” he said.

Bowen said there were only two small modular reactors in operation around the world – in Russia and China – and neither of which were commercial.