Queensland Spruiks State Solar Success Statistics

Queensland solar energy statistics

The QLD Government is celebrating the success of solar energy in the state – and it’s also been revealed a Queensland coal-fired power station is expected to close early.

According to a release published yesterday, solar panels installed throughout the state can now produce twice as much electricity as Queensland’s biggest power station (Gladstone 1,680MW). QLD Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said rooftop PV and solar farms in the state combined have just bypassed the 4GW capacity mark.

An important point to note in the QLD government statement is the “can now” bit – and it wasn’t clarified. It can potentially do this – the sun has to be shining across much of the state where solar is installed for that to happen. Still, the installed PV capacity figure is impressive.

“More than 560,000 Queensland rooves now sport solar systems and 30 solar farms are now generating across the state,” said Dr Lynham.

The rooftop figure is probably significantly higher than that. According to the latest figures from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator, current as at 31 August, more than 640,979 small-scale PV systems (<100kW) have been installed throughout Queensland1. It leads Australia in this regard, with the second highest tally (~500,316) in New South Wales.

Queensland’s passion for PV remains strong – the release notes close to 5,000 business and home solar systems were connected across the state in August.

Other statistics noted in the release:

  • One in three Queensland households have solar panels. (APVI indicates 34.8% of dwellings as at June)
  • Queensland boasts six of Australia’s top ten solar postcodes. (Checks out in terms of quantities of small-scale installations)
  • The state has around 800 watts of solar capacity per person. (About right based on 4GW total capacity – perhaps a little less)
  • A new system was installed every 12 minutes during 2018. (I haven’t crunched the numbers).

Coal Fired Clunker To Close Early

In other energy related news out of Queensland, the Financial Review reported this morning (paywall) Callide B power station is expected to close in 2028, instead of 2038-39 as originally planned. Callide B was commissioned in 1988.

Callide Power Station, situated near Biloela in Central Queensland, is comprised of three black coal fired power stations – Callide A, Callide B and Callide C. CS Energy owns Callide A and B power stations, and has a 50% stake in Callide C. Callide A ceased generating in 2015 and is now being decommissioned.

The new dates for Callide B’s two units are noted on this Australian Energy Market Operator spreadsheet indicating expected closures for generating units across Australia. However, it also looks as though Gladstone’s end-of-life has been put off for a few years. Gladstone was previously expected to retire in 2032, but that’s now been extended to 2035 according to the spreadsheet.

Footnotes

  1. This figure notes all installations that have ever occurred in the state – a small percentage would have been decommissioned since installation for whatever reason
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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