Queensland earmarks AU$26 billion investment for renewables

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Genex’s 50MW Kidston Solar Project in Queensland. Image: Genex Power

Steven Miles, premier of Queensland, Australia, has unveiled plans today (6 June) to allocate a record AU$26 billion (US$17 billion) to the state’s Energy and Jobs Plan over the next four years, facilitating the rollout of solar PV and storage technology.

Marking Queensland Day, the investment is set to “supercharge renewable energy, storage, and transmission” and is the “largest investment being made in the nation”, the government’s statement said.

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This investment increases the AU$19 billion assigned to the plan in last year’s budget.

As part of the investment, AU$16.5 billion will be provided to renewable energy and storage projects, AU$8.5 billion will go towards the construction of a ‘SuperGrid,’ AU$500 million will be allocated for network batteries and local grid solutions, and AU$192 million will be provided for the Transmission and Training Hubs in Townsville and Gladstone, Australia.

Commenting on the budget, Miles highlighted the economic opportunity renewables could bring to the state, asserting that it would mean “more jobs for Queensland, more investment and more industry innovation”.

“One thing I’m particularly passionate about is our state’s transition to renewables and the economic opportunity that transition can bring. It means more jobs for Queensland, more investment in Queensland and more industry innovation right here in Queensland,” Miles said.

Investment set to catalyse renewable development in Queensland

Revealed in September 2022, the Energy and Jobs Plan aims to reduce emissions by 75% by 2035, add 22GW of new renewables capacity in Queensland, establish a ‘SuperGrid’ and convert coal power station sites into clean energy hubs. It plans to source 80% of its energy from renewables by 2035. As such, the legislation has served as a catalyst for the state’s industry.

As reported by PV Tech in March 2024, the Queensland government plans to build 12 renewable energy zones (REZ) as part of efforts to ramp up renewable developments.

REZs in Queensland will be developed over three phases from now to after 2028 to facilitate 22GW of additional renewable energy.

Queensland has experienced a rise in the development of large-scale renewable energy projects. For instance, Enel Green Power Australia is looking to acquire a 1GW solar and wind project in January 2024. Additionally, CleanCo Queensland, a state-owned renewables company, is seeking expressions of interest in adding 3GW of new solar and wind capacity in the state.

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