Renewable zones to position Queensland into a clean energy powerhouse

JOINT STATEMENT

Queensland is accelerating towards its 50% renewable energy target, with interest in Queensland’s renewable energy zones shattering expectations and creating overwhelming interest from renewables investors.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government had been flooded with expressions of interest, with enough projects to create 60,000 megawatts of clean energy, with the combined capacity to power the nation.

“Delivering new energy sources and new jobs is part of our plan for Queensland’s economic recovery by growing our regions,” the Premier said.

“We’ve had expressions of interest for a further 192 projects that will charge up our state’s economic recovery, creating up to 57,000 jobs in the process.

“Importantly, we are putting $145 million on the table to fund transmission infrastructure, making it easier for renewable projects to connect to the National Electricity Market, encouraging even more investment.

“This builds on my Government’s investment of $500 million into cleaner, cheaper electricity, which will continue to drive down power prices for industry and homeowners.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said that the Government would be shortlisting and approving projects that delivered the most benefit for Queenslanders.

“Between Cairns and Townsville, our initiative has attracted strong interest from a variety of projects which will support the growing demand for new economy minerals extraction and processing, that are critical to the components required in the renewable and technology sectors.

“While around Longreach and Rockhampton we’ve attracted expressions of interest from 67 projects, creating significant opportunities to enable growth in the state’s renewable hydrogen development.

“The most popular has been the southern zone covering the Darling Downs with 72 strong expressions of interest, which is well suited to the region’s growing opportunities in sustainable agriculture and ecotourism.

The potential projects are across a mix of clean energy generation technologies including solar PV, wind, and biomass.

A number of potential projects also offer storage technologies such as utility-scale batteries.

“Energy storage will play an important role in a low emissions future, offering the ability to dispatch clean energy on demand,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The next steps in cementing these zones will be progressed during 2021 with a priority on investments that focus on Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“Queensland is already generating 20 per cent of our electricity from renewable resources, and our investment in the renewable energy zones means we can add this clean energy to our electricity grid.”

Minister de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government already has a proven track record.

“In just over six years our policies have turned the energy investment climate on its head, transforming the state from the LNP’s zero-dollar, zero-megawatt renewables vacuum to an $8.5 billion energy investment and 7,000 job powerhouse.

“I welcome the proponent estimates showing these projects would support more than $93.7 billion investment if these are all developed.

“What this looks like today is clean electricity coming from 33 operational large-scale wind and solar projects and there’s another 11 already committed or under construction.”

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