07 Oct 2022
Over the past week, the Queensland Government has made a series of announcements about its renewable energy targets and the supporting policies and investments to achieve them.
At the heart is a $62 billion plan of private and public investment to supercharge the state’s renewable energy sector over the next 15 years. This includes building a transmission super grid to connect Brisbane up to North Queensland and out west to Hughenden.
RPS’ Planning and National Renewables Lead, Simon Pollock, says the policy commitments are a significant shift for the renewables sector.
“It’s great to see this new solid direction of policy and investment,” he said.
“For almost a decade, we’ve been working with clients to gain approvals for a range of renewable projects – from pumped hydro to wind and solar farm developments – but unfortunately, some projects have not been able to proceed beyond the approval stage.”
Simon says a lack of policy certainty and infrastructure to support renewable energy production has been a real issue and risk to the delivery of projects.
“It is great to see that in these new policy announcements there is recognition of the need to invest in new infrastructure and provide ambitious targets to propel this sector forward,” he said.
In announcing the energy plan, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that by 2035 Queensland will have no regular reliance on coal and will be at 80 per cent renewable energy.
She said there will be investment in wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, pumped hydro equipment and transmissions lines. And of the super grid, she said: “If our Bruce Highway is our backbone, the super grid will be our artery of the clean energy industrial revolution.”
In a time of transition for Queensland’s energy landscape, a clear plan from the government is crucial for moving projects forward and attracting future investment. And while there are still plenty of challenges to tackle when developing the renewable solutions we need for energy security and sustainability, Simon says the latest announcements from the state are a step in the right direction.
“This is what our clients need. This is what the industry needs. We can revisit those projects that didn’t get off the ground because of poor grid stability and capacity.
“This significant investment and commitment from the Palaszczuk Government will help the industry and really give Queensland the opportunity to be a significant generator of clean energy.”
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