The Queensland government is committed to leaving coal power for renewable energy, prior to the predictions by the Western Australia’s energy Minster stating the solar PV will shortly replace coal as the territory’s primary source of electricity. The government has urged to back the development of solar and wind power projects in the territory.
Queensland Energy Minster stated that the Queensland government was much focused on growing both small and commercial-scale renewable energy sectors, as well as creating employments, utilizing investment and new policy mechanisms, which include reverse auctions such as those employed to, to great success, by the Australian Capital Territory Government.
“The (Palaszczuk) government supports absolutely establishing a Queensland-based large-scale renewable energy industry,” Bailey stated.
“We are working with renewable energy agencies to deliver a reverse auction for at least 40MW of renewable energy,” he said, adding that regional, government-owned Queensland utility, Ergon, had made an expression of interest for 150MW of state-based renewables capacity.
“The benefit of this,” Bailey noted, “is not only a transformation to clean energy but also the establishment of the skill base, a workforce, investment and, importantly, jobs in Queensland. We have to grow jobs in Queensland in the emerging industries, and certainly renewable energy is one of the big emerging industries, and we are keen to be part of that.”
The agenda by the Queensland government regarding the economic development renewable energy sector is in contrast to that of the federal government, which continuously cautioned that higher renewable energy targets and immense action on global warming would end up draining the economies, employments and consumer hip pockets.
A week ago, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt calmly prompted his colleague federal members that his territory’s economic future did not depend solely on development of the Adani-owned Carmichael coal mine, and as a results the growth sectors of the future for Queensland extends above mining of fossil fuels.
“I am a strong advocate for the development of the Galilee,” Pitt said. “And I am going to do everything I can to accelerate that to ensure we can get the benefit of the jobs. But it is not the be-all and end-all.”
Yet, Bailey referred to South Australia, which is now generating 40% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
“They have attracted $5.5 billion worth of investment. That has created a lot of jobs and yet here in Queensland we have gone backwards for the last three years,” he said.
Bailey later indicated that industrial battery system was currently rolled out by Ergon to reduce the system costs, and the Queensland government was collaborating with Californian company Sunverge to test domestic batteries in Queensland region.
“This is part of the whole agenda about governments being serious about acting on climate change and not just talking the talk, which we see, unfortunately, at a federal level,” Bailey said.
“We have to be active in terms of our policy and making sure we are actually moving away from carbon-emitting industries into clean energy industries.”
The state has also committed to a small-scale target of one million solar rooftops by 2020, with Bailey noting the “great opportunities” provided by the continually improving economics of battery technology.
He then referred to the future of the territory’s large-scale and industrial rooftop solar markets; which he stated is far below that of New South Wales’.
“The demand for solar is very resilient and it is a maturing market. For us it is about facilitation, it is about getting blockages out of the way in terms of the industry.
“That is the way forward. The market is driving a fair bit of it. We are happy to work with the renewable industry sector and build positive relationships there which we have been doing over the last seven months,” Bailey said.
“Now that the RET has finally landed and there is some certainty, albeit a fairly low target which is unfortunate, it at least has given the industry certainty in which to go out there and get projects going; a very good situation for Queensland to be in.”