An independent draft finds Queensland has high potential to grow its renewable energy industry, given falling technology costs, market dynamics, current projects in the pipeline, which would create AUD $6.7 billion of new investment.
The Credible Pathways draft report found that the state can meet its renewable energy target over the next 14 years and maintain electricity security, reliability and impact upon consumers.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles reported that a sustainable transition to 50 percent renewable energy would create future jobs and continue to boost investment, act on climate change, and deliver value and system security for both customers and government.
Draft findings on Queensland
- The state produces the most greenhouse gas emissions of any state in Australia
- Has the highest percentage of small-scale rooftop PV penetration in Australia, but has the lowest installed capacity of large-scale
- Queensland has significant solar resources, with potential wind sites that could be utilised to meet the 50% target.
Forecasts of future demand
According to Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), electricity demand in Queensland is expected to increase by 10.4% over the next twenty years. Globally, February 2016 was the warmest February in 136 years of modern temperature records, with the build-up of emissions in the atmosphere being the main cause.
Commitment to a cleaner, greener renewable energy future
Despite having only a minor share of large-scale renewable generation to date, Queensland has a strong pipeline of new renewable energy projects. To reduce greenhouse emissions and meet future electricity demands, Queensland must develop its R&D and commit to further large-scale renewable energy projects.
Regarding construction and engineering jobs, the report noted that there would be a shift in the type of employment, from operational roles in existing energy generation projects, to design and build on new projects. The Clean Energy Council identified the need for the development of specific skills, while Engineers Australia considered that there were clear opportunities for a transition of competencies from existing to new industries.
The Credible Pathways draft report also shows that there would be a significant increase in clean energy jobs and investment in Queensland. Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said, “This includes a net average increase in employment of around 6,400-6,700 direct and indirect jobs per annum between 2020 and 2030.”
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The State of Queensland. (2016). Retrieved 12 October, 2016 from http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/10/12/renewable-energy-taskforce-releases-draft-report