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QLD kindergartens set to welcome solar panels

17th Feb 2012

The second round of applications for the Solar Kindergarten Installation Program is now open, which could see solar panels installed across Queensland.

Education minister Cameron Dick noted that the first round had proved highly successful, with a total of 159 kindergartens approved to receive 1.5-kilowatt units.

The next round is expected to attract around 150 applications as kindergartens hope to create sustainable learning and play environments for children.

"All these solar installations could generate enough energy to power about 125 Queensland homes and save 877 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to taking up to 200 cars off the road," Mr Dick commented.

The benefits of solar power do not stop there, as the panels will also help to lower annual electricity bills by as much as $500.

This will no doubt be welcomed not only by the facilities but also the children's parents, as the savings can be used to provide better resources for the youngsters.

C&K chief executive officer Barrie Elvish explained that kindergartens are always in search of new ways of introducing youngsters to sustainability concepts.

"Solar power units are a practical example for children and generate both electricity and cost savings: a fantastic outcome," he emphasised.

This follows comments from energy minister Stephen Robertson, who said Queensland was in a great position to become a major competitive force in the renewable energy market.

Not only has the Bligh government invested in the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan (QREP) 2012, but it is in the position to leverage $8.9 billion in investment.

Furthermore, the state should be in the position to deliver 9,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy generation by 202 while creating 3,500 new green jobs.

The 500 megawatt Virtual Solar Power Station target has already been reached three years ahead of schedule.

Mr Robertson suggested that Queensland will benefit from significant opportunities that arise from the Australian government's Clean Energy Future Plan, which incorporates more than $10 billion in new clean energy funding.

He continued: "With a strong ongoing program of initiatives and new focus on collaboration and capacity building, QREP 2012 aims to position Queensland as a primary beneficiary."

The plan has a number of key objectives, including accelerating the deployment of projects and a renewable energy infrastructure and the promotion of smart industry.

In addition, it strives to improve investment through the reform of regulations, industry and skills development.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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