The Queensland Government has reported high numbers of expressions of interest submissions in its renewable energy zones, set to create 60,000MW of clean energy.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said, “Delivering new energy sources and new jobs is part of our plan for Queensland’s economic recovery by growing our regions.
“We’ve had expressions of interest for a further 192 projects that will charge up our state’s economic recovery, creating up to 57,000 jobs in the process.
“Importantly, we are putting $145 million on the table to fund transmission infrastructure, making it easier for renewable projects to connect to the National Electricity Market, encouraging even more investment.
“This builds on my government’s investment of $500 million into cleaner, cheaper electricity, which will continue to drive down power prices for industry and homeowners.”
Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said that the Government would be shortlisting and approving projects that delivered the most benefit for Queenslanders.
“Between Cairns and Townsville, our initiative has attracted strong interest from a variety of projects which will support the growing demand for new economy minerals extraction and processing, that are critical to the components required in the renewable and technology sectors,” Mr de Brenni said.
“While around Longreach and Rockhampton we’ve attracted expressions of interest from 67 projects, creating significant opportunities to enable growth in the state’s renewable hydrogen development.
“The most popular has been the southern zone covering the Darling Downs with 72 strong expressions of interest, which is well suited to the region’s growing opportunities in sustainable agriculture and ecotourism.”
The potential projects are across a mix of clean energy generation technologies including solar PV, wind and biomass.
A number of potential projects also offer storage technologies such as utility-scale batteries.
“Energy storage will play an important role in a low emissions future, offering the ability to dispatch clean energy on demand,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The next steps in cementing these zones will be progressed during 2021 with a priority on investments that focus on Queensland’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Queensland is already generating 20 per cent of our electricity from renewable resources, and our investment in the renewable energy zones means we can add this clean energy to our electricity grid,” Mr de Brenni said.
“I welcome the proponent estimates showing these projects would support more than $93.7 billion investment if these are all developed.
“What this looks like today is clean electricity coming from 33 operational large-scale wind and solar projects and there’s another eleven already committed or under construction.”
The Renewable Energy Zones are regionally-based power and jobs generators which open more doors for more industrial zones, hydrogen hubs and manufacturing jobs.