QLD takes steps towards renewable energy future28th Feb 2012
Ministers in Queensland are taking steps to secure the energy needs of the state through the use of renewables.
The region was recently criticised by Giles Parkinson, who told reneweconomy.com.au that it needs to be more ambitious in delivering a low-energy future.
He pointed out that predictions on the uptake of solar panels are conservative given how many installations have already been made by Queenslanders.
However, energy minister Stephen Robertson said that the state is in a good position to become a major competitor for investment in the renewable energy segment.
A review of the original Queensland Renewable Energy Plan (QREP) has been carried out, which Mr Robertson believes places the state "front and centre of Australia's clean energy future".
"It positions Queensland to leverage up to $8.9 billion in renewable energy investment and deliver 9000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy generation by 2020," the minister explained.
The original QREP was established in 2009 and has since led to a rise in Queensland's renewable energy generation capacity, which has increased 66 per cent to reach 1,235 megawatts.
The latest version of the document refocuses renewable energy efforts in the state by speeding up the deployment of projects that will contribute to infrastructure.
Furthermore, smart industry, jobs and investment will be encouraged through regulatory changes, innovations and the development of industry and skills.
Among the projects to have started in Queensland is the installation of hundreds of solar panels at the state's first community-owned solar farm project.
Located at Hervey Bay, the development forms part of the $2.7 million Fraser Coast Community Solar Farm and is expected to see the solar panels cover an area spanning 2,600 sq m.
Initial estimates suggest the panels will be able to generate 630 megawatt hours of solar power every year.
Posted by Mike Peacock