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The Future of Queensland Solar

Published: November 28, 2018 Last Updated: March 18, 2019

The latest stats on solar usage in Queensland indicate that just fifteen per cent of all of Queensland's electricity was generated by renewable sources including solar, wind and hydro.  While this is an achievement, is it something to celebrate? Compared to the rest of Australia it appears we are lagging in the uptake of renewable energy - Why is this the case?

Future Solar Queensland

The Renewable Transition

The Sunshine state aims to provide 20% of its energy supplied via renewable sources by 2020 and 50% by 2030 but you have to wonder why is the uptake so low given we do in fact live in the Sunshine State and solar usage is skyrocketing.  As a state we currently generate a combined capacity of more than 4000 megawatts of solar power from 30 major solar farms, and over 560,000 Queensland solar rooftop systems but only utilise 2400 megawatts of this. 

Given the uptake of renewable energy we are on track to reach the targets of 20% renewable sources by 2020 and 50% by 2030 but only if there is a significant uptake in renewable energy investment.

Renewable Energy Investments

Compared to previous years there has been a growing lack of confidence in large-scale renewable energy investments in Queensland which could potentially make us fall short of our renewable energy targets. As one of the most growing states in regards to population and ventures, emissions may outweigh renewables unless some serious investments and incentives are put in place.

From this article in the Brisbane Times, Green Energy Markets director of analysis Tristan Edis states:

Large-scale renewables investment commitments in Queensland have dropped off a cliff this year with no wind or solar projects committed to construction outside of rooftop solar

Green Energy Markets, a renewable energy advice business in operation since 2008, estimated Queensland could easily generate more than 21 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020 but doubted the state could meet the bolder target of increasing that to 50 per cent in the following decade.

50% Renewable Energy by 2030?

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said Queensland was making the steady transition to renewable energy and believed it would meet its target of generating 50 per cent from renewable energy sources by 2030. 

There is some significant doubt that this can be achieved due to the lack of Large-scale renewable investment and the lack of renewable energy opportunities for investors at large combine that with a growing population and industrial sector, these targets may not quite hit the mark as Green Energy Director states:

Private renewable investors had 'hit the pause button' in Queensland until there were clearer signals about diversifying renewable energy in Queensland.

Queensland can be on track to meet the government's targets, but only if there is a diverse assortment of investment.  This can only happen if there is some kind of promotion and incentive.  Let's hope we see some inroads being made into this in the next few months.

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