Renewables’ star role in Qld Infrastructure Pipeline

Solar photovoltaic arrays (Infrastructure Pipeline)
Image: Shutterstock

The Queensland Government Infrastructure Pipeline has just been released, showing the exciting role that renewable energy projects are playing in Queensland’s COVID economic recovery. 

The pipeline shows there are 34 renewable energy plants already operating in Queensland with a further 10 projects committed and under construction. All of this renewable energy activity represents around $10 billion in investment and more than 7,000 construction jobs.

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“Queensland’s response to COVID-19 has seen our stateʼs employment rate grow faster than any other state or territory in the country,” Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Dr Steven Miles said.

“We’ve just joined the list of Olympic and Paralympic cities, our pandemic response has been world-class, our population is booming, and Queensland has the potential to become a renewables and hydrogen superpower.”

The report was welcomed by Solar Citizens energy strategist Stephanie Gray.

“Thousands of people are already employed in Queensland’s renewable energy sector, from rooftop solar installers, technology developers, and construction workers,” Gray said. 

“But this sector is just getting started. As we move towards a decarbonised economy, we’ll need to produce three times more electricity than we generate now to power things like electric cars. 

“The demand for abundant and cheap renewable energy is only going to grow and so are the jobs in this space.”

The Infrastructure Pipeline report highlights the growing role renewable manufacturing and minerals processing will play in Queensland’s economy, as the world demands low-carbon products that Queensland is well-placed to provide. According to the report, approximately three quarters of lithium used in Tesla’s electric vehicle batteries and one third of the nickel is currently sourced from Australia.

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“North Queensland has some of the world’s best solar resources and critical mineral deposits needed as the world rolls out more electric transport and battery storage. This means we can not only ship minerals overseas, but also use abundant cheap renewable energy to process and manufacture here,” Gray said. 

“Government investment in more renewable energy generation, electric transport and local manufacturing will secure this unique opportunity to create thousands of good Queensland jobs.”