Queensland Coal’s Dire Future Exposed - Solar Citizens

Queensland Coal’s Dire Future Exposed

10 December 2021: Queensland Coal’s Dire Future Exposed

Modelling released today from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows a dire outlook for Queensland’s coal-fired power stations. In the most likely future scenario modelled, almost 70% of black coal power stations will retire by 2032.

This comes as new polling commissioned from Solar Citizens finds:

  • 50% of Queenslanders think the Queensland government should develop a plan for the early closure of state owned coal-fired power stations, with 25% being unsure.

  • 35% think Queensland’s grid should be powered entirely by solar, wind and storage in 10 years, and a further 25% think this should happen in the next 15 years.

  • 62% think Queensland’s Renewable Energy Zone plans should be as ambitious as New South Wales and Victoria’s plans. NSW has a goal of unlocking 12 gigawatts of new renewable generation and 2 gigawatts of storage by 2030.

“The shift to a cleaner energy system is happening much faster than many people expected because cheap solar and wind plants are making coal uneconomical. The best thing that governments can do now is be upfront about that reality and plan for the early closure of coal-fired power stations,” said Stephanie Gray, Energy Strategist at Solar Citizens.

“Queensland is blessed with some of the world’s best solar resources, which can be turned into cheap and abundant energy to power renewable hydrogen production, and more local manufacturing and minerals mining.

“If we plan the transformation of our grid and economy well, regional Queenslanders can benefit from these opportunities and affected workers can be redeployed.

“The energy transition doesn’t mean that Queensland will stop being a global energy powerhouse. We’ll just be producing a different kind of energy.”

AEMO’s modelling also finds Australia will need to double how much electricity we produce by 2050 to power things like the uptake of electric vehicles and new hydrogen industries. 

“Right now the Queensland government is developing their plans for rolling out Renewable Energy Zones, but their draft plans are much less ambitious compared to New South Wales and Victoria’s plans,” said Ms Gray. 

“To replace retiring coal generators and to seize the exciting opportunities to kick-start new manufacturing and hydrogen industries, we need to be building a lot more renewable projects in the Sunshine State.”

Solar Citizens is calling for the Queensland government to ensure at least 2 GW of new renewable energy generation is added to each of Queensland’s three Renewable Energy Zone regions by 2025. AEMO estimates Queensland will require 47 GW of new renewable generation by 2050.


Polling done by Dynata with a 800-person representative sample size.

Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425543006