Queensland announces Renewable Energy Zone ambition
16 November: Queensland announces Renewable Energy Zone ambition
The Queensland government has announced they plan to unlock 3,300MW of new renewable energy generation in the initial stages of developing their three Renewable Energy Zone regions.
Southern Queensland is expected to host the lion’s share of new renewable energy projects with grid upgrades allowing 2,000MW of new renewable energy projects to connect locally. Central Queensland will receive investment to host another 800MW, while a 500MW upgrade has already been announced for Northern Queensland.
Across Australia the need for more grid infrastructure has been a major hurdle that has slowed investment in new renewable energy projects. A Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is a region with good renewable energy resources where it is strategic to build or upgrade infrastructure so new solar, wind and storage projects can connect to the grid.
Community group Solar Citizens welcomes the announcement, but says the State government’s ambition is dwarfed by other states.
“Both New South Wales and Victoria have announced Renewable Energy Zone targets that will propel them towards becoming clean energy and hydrogen superpowers,” said Stephanie Gray, Energy Strategist at Solar Citizens.
“Victoria has a 10,000MW target while New South Wales is aiming to bring online 12,000MW of new renewable energy projects and 2,000MW of storage by 2030. Queensland’s plan to unlock 3,300MW looks measly in comparison.
“The Sunshine State has all the right ingredients to kick-start new industries in areas like renewable hydrogen production and battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. We’ve got critical mineral resources needed for clean technology, a skilled workforce and the possibility for abundant and cheap renewable energy.
“But unless we at least match the ambition of other Australian states, we risk investors taking their funding elsewhere.
“We’re calling on the Queensland government to ensure at least 2,000MW of new renewable energy generation is added to each of Queensland’s three RenewableEnergy Zone regions by 2025 so the State doesn’t miss out on new clean energy industries.”
Last year the Queensland government announced $145 million to establish three Renewable Energy Zones. So far they have allocated $62 million of this to underpin a transmission upgrade in Far North Queensland and undertake a business case analysis of the Borumba pumped hydro project.
Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425543006