Is Queensland the Solar State?

From September to October, Fifteen per cent of all of Queensland’s electricity was generated by renewable sources including solar, wind and hydro and while this may seem like something to celebrate, compared to the rest of Australia it appears we are lagging in the uptake of renewable energy – can we do better?

With 30 solar farms, and over 560,000 Queensland rooftops sporting solar systems, we currently generate a combined capacity of more than 4000 megawatts. Currently, 9 per cent of this energy comes from large scale generation, such as solar farms, wind and hydro-station projects, and 6 per cent from small scale solar primarily rooftop solar systems on homes and businesses.

According to this article in the Brisbane Times, It’s worth noting last year we added 657 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, a far cry from the year before which added 1400 megawatts and given our current capacity, the Sunshine State currently generates 2400 megawatts of usable renewable energy capacity in general.

As Queensland is responsible for a quarter of all Australia’s emissions in Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) we should be looking at increasing these targets and trying to reach our 2030 targets.

The Target: 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 though due to the lack of Large-scale renewable investment and the lack of renewable energy opportunities for investors at large.

Renewable Energy Investments

Compared to previous years, the political climate plus the lack of large-scale renewable energy investments in 2019 poses problems with Queensland meeting renewable energy targets, and due to growth, emissions may outweigh renewables unless some serious investments and incentives are put in place.

From the article, 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 per cent 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.