Renewables boom will see Queensland meet green targets by 2025

Queensland could hit its renewable energy targets in 2025, despite current levels sitting below 20 per cent, according to the Queensland Conservation Council and Solar Citizens.


Mar 09, 2022, updated Mar 10, 2022
CleanCo has called for 3GW of renewable energy (file photo)

CleanCo has called for 3GW of renewable energy (file photo)

The report from the two groups claims the 50 per cent level set by the Government was now too low and could effectively stifle future investment and limit development in renewables beyond the 50 per cent level.

Reaching the target by 2025 would require a significant increase in development which has limited the state to about 18 per cent renewables and the Government dimissed the report claiming it relied on magic.

“No one should doubt the Palaszczuk Government’s achievements with respect to renewable energy, Energy Minister Mick De Brenni said.

“The numbers quoted by the QCC and Solar Citizens rely on the equivalent generation of eight large renewable energy generators just magically turning up, however, what Queenslanders deserve is an Energy Plan that is realistic and achievable and we will deliver that later this year specifying, the pathway to achieving our targets and ensuring affordable, reliable and clean electricity.”

The Queensland renewables target is currently well below other states and level with the Federal Government’s plan.

So far, the Government has resisted a push to shut down its coal-fired power station fleet ahead of schedule. Some stations have a current life out to 2040. Origin and AGL have signalled their intention to shut down power stations in NSW well ahead of previous time lines.

Coal fired power stations have been steadily losing their profitability as cheaper solar and wind come online.

The report said there was a pipeline of 5100 megawatts of large scale solar and wind projects yet to be built which would lift the current of about 18 per cent to 45 per cent. In addition, there was the expected expansion of rooftop solar as well as projects coming out of the Government’s $2 billion hydrogen and renewables fund.

On the list of committed projects was solar farms at Bluegrass, Columboola, Gangam, the Kennedy energy park (wind and solar), Woolooga and the Western Downs green power hub. There was also a wind farm at the Kaban green power hub.

There were also a host of anticipated projects that would generate about 800 megawatts and another 3000 megawatts from projects in the likely category.

The report claims the other states were outcompeting Queensland for renewables, but the Palaszczuk Government appeared to have “stepped up their ambition”.

“Our findings make it clear the Queensland Government must expand their renewable target to avoid setting a limit on renewable investment. If the State Government only wants to achieve 50 per cent renewables by 2030 it will mean private investment in solar and wind will have to stall after 2025,” QCC energy strategist Clare Silcock said.

National director of Solar Citizens Ellen Roberts said it would be a missed opportunity if the 10-year energy plan limited Queensland to a 50 per cent target.

She said it would mean the state would miss out on new clean manufacturing opportunities in renewable hydrogen, solar panel and battery storage production.

“Queensland’s lack of ambition will mean we miss out on future-proof regional jobs,” she said.







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