The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has welcomed the Queensland government’s announcement that a 24-hour pumped hydroelectric scheme at Borumba Dam will go into design and planning stage.
“Big renewable storage projects like this can speed the transition away from coal and gas and help make Queensland a renewable energy superpower,” said ACF Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Of course, this project must first go through proper environmental assessments to make sure it doesn’t threaten our precious and unique animals, woodlands and forests or compromise environmental flows in the Mary River catchment.
“The recent fire and explosions at the Callide coal-fired power station – which thankfully didn’t injure anyone – and the subsequent blackouts are a reminder that coal is unreliable and dangerous.
“Fortunately, renewable energy helped restore Queensland’s power following the Callide blackout, which was the state’s worst power outage in decades.
“Queenslanders’ way of life and natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree and the Wet Tropics are particularly vulnerable to climate change, which is being fuelled by burning coal and gas.
“Queensland has every reason to move away from fossil fuels and become a leader in climate change action.
“The state’s 2030 targets – to reduce emissions by 30% and have 50% of electricity from renewables – are among the weakest in the country and should be urgently strengthened.
“Queensland has started to fall behind other states when it comes to renewable energy penetration into the grid. If this project goes ahead it will put Queensland back in the race.
“Projects like this pumped hydro scheme can help the state move to clean energy – we look forward to more announcements like this from the Queensland government.”