Queensland releases renewable energy plan
The Queensland Government has released its Queensland Renewable Energy Plan (QREP) 2012, following a review of the original plan first launched in 2009.
Queensland Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the plan positions Queensland to leverage up to $8.9 billion in renewable energy investment and deliver 9000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy generation by 2020.
“It will help deliver on our original QREP goals to create up to 3500 new green jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 million tonnes.
“The plan also establishes Queensland’s case as a major competitor for new renewable energy investment, projects and industry growth in Australia.
“For example, the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Plan includes more than $10 billion in new clean energy funding and targets up to $100 billion in private investment by 2050.
“Substantial opportunities will emerge for Queensland from this national plan. With a strong ongoing program of initiatives and new focus on collaboration and capacity building, QREP 2012 aims to position Queensland as a primary beneficiary.”
Mr Robertson said the state had achieved significant renewable energy success through the original QREP 2009.
“We have increased Queensland’s renewable energy generation capacity 66 per cent from 745 megawatts in 2008 to more than 1235 megawatts today – that’s enough to power roughly 640,000 homes per year.
“We also smashed our 500 megawatt Virtual Solar Power Station target three years early.
“Queensland’s renewable energy industry has attracted around $2.7 billion in total public and private investment and supports more than 1800 jobs.”
Mr Robertson said the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan 2012 will build upon Queensland’s early success with small-scale solar achieved with the help of Bligh Government initiatives like the Solar Bonus Scheme and Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme.
“QREP 2012 seeks to scale up these efforts and accelerate deployment of medium and large scale renewable energy generation projects,” he said.
“We are already co-funding the world’s largest solar integration project at the Kogan Creek power station and have been chosen by the Commonwealth to host the proposed 250 megawatt Solar Dawn solar thermal power project at Chinchilla.
“There are also exciting developments ahead to harness Queensland’s abundance of other renewable energy resources like wind, geothermal, solar thermal and bioenergy.”
QREP 2012 refocuses the Queensland Government’s renewable energy agenda under three key objectives:
- Accelerating deployment of projects and renewable energy infrastructure;
- Promoting smart industry, jobs and investment through regulatory reform, innovation, industry and skills development and renewable energy zones; and
- Developing stronger partnerships and links to strengthen technology research and development and attract Commonwealth and private investment for new projects.
Mr Robertson said QREP 2012 includes a number of new Queensland Government initiatives to complement existing programs and projects and new national policy.
“For example, the Renewable Energy Industry Development Plan (REIDP) we announced last year delivers on QREP 2012 industry development objectives and over the next two years will focus on removing impediments to industry growth in areas such as regulation, technology innovation and skills development,” he said.
“It will promote new industry and jobs in our regions through the implementation of renewable energy zones and project incentives.
“The Bligh Government will also be identifying key bioenergy resources and releasing bioenergy guidelines to open up Queensland’s vast biomass resources and help farmers, landholders and proponents take advantage of national initiatives such as Carbon Farming."
A copy of the new Queensland Renewable Energy Plan 2012 is available at: www.cleanenergy.qld.gov.au