Queensland Falls Behind NSW, Vic in REZ Rollout
1 November 2021: Queensland Falls Behind NSW, Vic in REZ Rollout
Queensland is estimated to fall short of its 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 target with new Australian government projections showing the Sunshine State is only on track to reach 43 per cent. This puts other Australian states well ahead of Queensland with New South Wales estimated to reach 84 per cent by 2030, Victoria 61 per cent, and South Australia 96 per cent.
This comes as a new report by community group Solar Citizens says that the Queensland government is falling behind other States in the Renewable Energy Zone rollout and can do a lot more to set the stage for hosting the world’s first climate positive Olympics.
“We did a deep dive looking at Queensland’s progress on emissions reduction and the rollout of clean energy and found the Sunshine State gets a bronze medal where we really should be going for gold before the 2032 Olympics,” said Stephanie Gray, Solar Citizens’ Energy Strategist.
“The Queensland government and state-owned energy companies have announced a series of exciting commitments lately that will see a number of new large-scale renewable energy projects come online, but after years of dragging their feet there’s much more to do to even reach our existing emission reduction and clean energy targets.
“Hosting a climate positive Olympics means we have to drastically overhaul our energy and transport sectors over the next 11 years. The 2012 London Olympics produced as much carbon pollution as running a whole coal-fired power station for a year.”
Solar Citizens notes that Queensland is behind New South Wales and Victoria in the rollout of Renewable Energy Zones, with both southern states having set targets for unlocking a substantial amount of new renewable energy and storage projects. 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 has no target.
“Announcing three Renewable Energy Zones is a hollow commitment without a target for how much renewable energy we’re going to unlock with new infrastructure,” said Ms Gray.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen investment in large-scale renewables go from boom to bust in Queensland because there’s a pressing need for new infrastructure and energy policy certainty.
“We would like to see the Queensland government ensure that at least 2,000MW of new renewable energy is added to each of Queensland’s Renewable Energy Zones by 2025 on top of the projects already under construction. This will set us on the right track to meet new manufacturing and transport demand with affordable and clean energy.”
Other key findings of the report include:
Queensland currently has 37 large-scale solar and wind farms operating across the state, with a further eight large-scale renewable projects under construction. The projects currently under construction are powering 6,300 jobs and represent a substantial 1,757MW of new generation capacity for Queensland. A further four projects are likely to proceed to construction in the coming years.
As of 2019, Queensland’s emissions were approximately 14% lower than 2005 levels. There’s still a long way to go to reach the existing 30% by 2030 target and then go beyond that for the 2032 climate positive Olympics.
Queensland now has over 800,000 solar homes and businesses and 4,125MW of installed rooftop solar capacity across the state. According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) this could rise up to 11,100MW over the next 10 years; growth that Solar Citizens says will create 4,050 ongoing installation jobs.
Full report available here.
Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425543006