Eco Innovator March 2012

Government Policy

Queensland Renewable Energy Plan

Queensland is well positioned to become a major competitor for new renewable energy investment, projects and industry growth, said Energy minister Stephen Robertson when releasing the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan (QREP) 2012.

The Plan follows a comprehensive review of the original plan launched in 2009.

"QREP 2012 places Queensland 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 9,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy generation by 2020.

"It will help deliver on our original QREP goals to create up to 3,500 new green jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 million tonnes.

QREP 2012 refocuses the Queensland Government's renewable energy agenda under three key objectives:

* Accelerating deployment of projects and renewable energy infrastructure;

* Promoting smart industry, jobs and investment through regulatory reform, innovation, industry and skills development and renewable energy zones; and

* Developing stronger partnerships and links to strengthen technology research and development and attract Commonwealth and private investment for new projects.

Mr Robertson said QREP 2012 includes a number of new initiatives to complement existing programs and projects and new national policy.

"The plan also establishes Queensland's case as a major competitor for new renewable energy investment, projects and industry growth in Australia. "For example, the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Plan includes more than $10 billion in new clean energy funding and targets up to $100 billion in private investment by 2050. Substantial opportunities will emerge for Queensland from this national plan.

Mr Robertson said the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan 2012 will build upon Queensland's early success with small-scale solar achieved with the help of Bligh Government initiatives like the Solar Bonus Scheme and Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme.

"QREP 2012 seeks to scale up these efforts and accelerate deployment of medium and large scale renewable energy generation projects," he said.

"We are already co-funding the world's largest solar integration project at the Kogan Creek power station and have been chosen by the Commonwealth to host the proposed 250 megawatt Solar Dawn solar thermal power project at Chinchilla.

"There are also exciting developments ahead to harness Queensland's abundance of other renewable energy resources like wind, geothermal, solar thermal and bioenergy."

"The Bligh Government will also be identifying key bioenergy resources and releasing bioenergy guidelines to open up Queensland's vast biomass resources and help farmers, landholders and proponents take advantage of national initiatives such as Carbon Farming."

"We have already achieved significant renewable energy success in just two years through the original QREP 2009," he said. "We have increased Queensland's renewable energy generation capacity 66 per cent from 745 megawatts in 2008 to more than 1235 megawatts today – that's enough to power roughly 640,000 homes per year. We also smashed our 500 megawatt Virtual Solar Power Station target three years early.

"Queensland's renewable energy industry has attracted around $2.7 billion in total public and private investment and supports more than 1,800 jobs."





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