It's true that the Greens are an obstacle but it's more of problem that the state government refuses to get involved in this 'pure market' created by the Kennett privatisation.
This is where the current Liberals are nothing like their predecessors - Henry Bolte (like Playford in SA) actually spent big on the SECV in the 1950's. The belief was that cheap, reliable power would attract industry and benefit consumers; the new generation capacity and infrastructure paid for itself in a very short period of time. We need Liberals who think like that again; there's an urgent need for a large new base-load plant in Victoria and nobody is interested; the private power-generation companies probably prefer the status quo because they can argue that a power shortage necessitates gouging.
With the carbon tax on the way out it's the ideal time for the state to borrow and build Loy Yang B.
The cost of constructing the second half of Loy Yang B, all 1000MW of it to replace the 1600+MW of Hazelwood, which has plenty of life left in it, on environmental grounds only, is prohibitive.speedemon08
's claim that such a project would slow the greenies down a bit is false. The greens would oppose ANY new coal fired power station unfortunately, and indeed they virtually partied in the streets after any prospect of a new demonstration power station at Morwell, which would have generated 600MW utilising the latest clean coal technology, as proposed by HRL, was shot down. This power station would have emitted 40% less CO2 emissions than other coal-fired power stations, but they were still not happy. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2012/4/17/smart-energy/hrl-freezes-12bn-coal-gas-power-plant-victoria
(Off topic - this is typical of greenies; give an inch and they will take a mile. A good example of this is their quest to lock up all native forest in the central highlands and declare it National Park, even though this area was a barren moonscape after the 1939 Black Friday fires and logged twice since, with their beloved Leadbeaters Possum prevailing and thriving to this day due to responsible forest management and regulatory controls. Meantime, to the detriment of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, they want the industries who rely on that crop to shut down, even if it means you then have to buy your copy paper from Indonesia instead, where orangtans face obliteration due to a couldn't-care-less industry and no government controls)
In any case, Victoria's installed solar capacity was a year ago up to 400+MW and growing. http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3819
Granted, this is not base load, but it does generate more power in peak periods than not (peak = 7am-11pm normally), and coupled with recently installed gas fired stations such as the one at Mortlake (550MW), the ever increasing construction of wind farms and the DECREASE in demand due to the slowdown in the manufacturing industry and the increase in home solar installations, there is no need to construct a large coal-fired base load power station anymore.