Calls for Qld to build another 2.5GW large-scale renewables

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Fast-tracking Queensland’s rollout of renewables and making clean technology available to more Queenslanders would create 27,200 new jobs and lower electricity bills, according to a new report by Solar Citizens and the Queensland Conservation Council

The report, Five Ways to Improve Queensland’s Energy and Jobs Plan, found that large-scale solar, wind and storage projects across the Sunshine State brought wholesale power costs down by $25/MWh in 2022—equivalent to nearly $100 per household. The groups say further renewable energy investment would have brought down costs by more than $500 per household.

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“High global fossil fuel prices and breakdowns at ageing coal plants have sent our electricity bills spiralling out of control, especially in coal reliant states like Queensland,” Queensland Conservation Council energy strategist Clare Silcock said. 

“Our analysis shows that our large-scale renewable energy projects are already reducing power bills for Queenslanders, but to maximise the benefits we should be bringing online more clean energy projects as soon as possible.”

The groups are calling on the Queensland Government to build another 2,500MW of new large-scale renewable energy and storage projects by 2025 on top of the nearly 4,000MW already in the pipeline. They’re also calling for government investment in household clean technology, such as rooftop solar, energy efficiency upgrades and household battery storage, in an effort to help vulnerable Queenslanders manage their energy bills. 

“The best way to protect yourself from inflated global coal and gas prices is to produce your own solar electricity straight from your rooftop,” Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray said. 

“Queenslanders are world leaders in the uptake of rooftop solar. It’s now time for the state government to support Queensland’s 900,000 solar homes and businesses to take the next step towards energy independence by helping them invest in battery storage and more efficient electric appliances. 

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“It’s also imperative that the third of Queenslanders who rent or live in social housing are supported to access cheap solar energy. Recent polling of 2,000 Australians found that 71% of people agree governments should do more to help this significant proportion of our community access affordable solar.

“Especially on hot summer days like we’ve been having, we need to make sure that everyone can afford to keep their homes at a healthy temperature and that means access to affordable energy.”

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