Renewable energy projects are on track to provide a third of Queensland’s electricity by 2025, new research shows.
If all proposed renewable projects in Queensland go ahead, they could add more electricity to the grid than all the power generated by coal and gas in the state combined.
The renewables boom could open up thousands of new jobs for engineers, truck drivers, electricians and mechanics, the research by Tristan Edis of Green Energy Markets shows.
Much of the growth expected in the next five years will be driven by two very large projects – the Macintyre wind farm near Warwick and the Western Downs solar farm near Chinchilla – and by more households and businesses adding solar systems to their rooftops.
The research, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), identifies the industrial hub of Gladstone as a key growth region for renewable energy.
Advances in renewable energy technologies, clear government policy and fast rising fossil fuel costs have seen a huge expansion in clean energy in Queensland in the past five years.
There has been a five-fold increase in Queensland’s consumption of renewable energy in 20 years. Between 2000 and 2010, renewables made up less than 4% of Queenslanders’ power consumption. Now, in 2020, renewables account for more than 20% of power consumption.
“This research identifies great potential for further growth and jobs in renewable energy in Queensland,” said ACF’s Queensland campaigner Jason Lyddieth.
“Queensland is well positioned to be a superpower in the renewable industries of the future. But other states are investing heavily in clean energy, so it’s a competitive field.
“South Australia has a 100% clean energy target, while Tasmania is aiming for 200%, with plans to export renewable power to the mainland. Queensland faces significant competition for private sector investment.
“The research identifies Gladstone as a key renewables growth region, opening up significant opportunities to transition to renewable energy for domestic electricity and the area’s heavy industries, including aluminium smelting.
“As we recover from the coronavirus crisis, it is a crucial time to choose a path for Queensland that creates good jobs, helps tackle the climate crisis and creates a fairer, healthier and more resilient state.”