Eco Innovator November 2011

Government Policy

Qld to Accelerate Renewable Energy Industry

The Queensland Government has unveiled a plan to help attract investment and accelerate development of the renewable energy industry and projects in Queensland.

Energy minister Stephen Robertson said the Renewable Energy Industry Development Plan (REIDP) "outlines 23 initiatives the Bligh Government will undertake over two years to facilitate economic development of Queensland's renewable energy industry, generate green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate deployment of renewable energy projects."

The REIDP defines five key priorities to address market impediments and drive industry growth:

* Innovation - facilitating development of renewable energy and enabling technologies;

* Renewable Energy Zones – Mount Isa, Surat Basin, Central and the Far North Coast have been identified as regions with the best renewable energy resources, local demand and access to transmission and distribution networks.

* Jobs – prioritize opportunities for renewable energy skills development and job creation;

* Regulatory reform - streamlining regulation impacting on the renewable energy industry; and

* Incentives - renewable energy incentives to bring forward investment in renewable energy generation.

Mr Robertson said renewable energy proponents will be assisted at the state and regional level to identify potential renewable energy development opportunities and where possible to access state and federal support programs.

"Importantly, it will also help facilitate the supply of clean energy for our communities and businesses and generate green jobs for Queenslanders."

The plan follows the completion of the Queensland Solar Atlas to pinpoint the best areas for potential future solar power generation projects. Queensland also has a wind atlas. Queensland is rich in renewable energy resources including solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal.

"We already have some exciting projects underway in Queensland like CS Energy's $104.7 million 44 megawatt Solar Thermal Boost project at the Kogan Creek power station," said Mr Robertson.

"The 250 megawatt Solar Dawn thermal gas hybrid power plant proposed for Chinchilla is under development with Commonwealth and Bligh Government financial support.

"A number of wind farm projects are also seeking development approval in Queensland and we are delivering solar farms for the Hervey Bay and Cloncurry communities."

"Queensland is already well positioned to attract up to $3.5 billion in investment for our renewable energy industry by 2020 and create 3,500 new jobs for Queenslanders," said the minister.






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