CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Will the next GFC turn out the lights?

With the carbon price looming large, some coal power stations could reach crisis point much earlier than predicted, if a global credit squeeze hits.

Climate Spectator

The executives of Victoria's power companies have come back from their beach holidays to a very chilly outlook for 2012. With the new carbon tax commencing in July, Victorian generators are facing unprecedented uncertainty and a massive challenge on debt re-financing.

The World Bank last week issued grim warnings that 2012 would see a world-wide banking credit crisis worse than the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Speaking in Beijing at the launch of the Bank's six month forward look, lead economist Andrew Burns said:

''If there are countries that have important amounts of financing coming due in the months and years ahead maybe now is the time to pre-finance that debt, prepare the loans and get that money while financial markets are still relatively active."

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