Exclusive: Analysis reveals renewable pipeline to save Qlders $500 per year

This report tracks the progress of Queensland's energy transition, maps the projected construction over the next three years, and outlines the benefits these projects can bring to communities through jobs and stable energy prices.

New modelling shows the thirteen new solar and wind farms likely to be built in Queensland over the next three years will reduce wholesale electricity prices by $90/MWh, or an average of $500 per household annually, compared to business as usual.

The research from the Queensland Conservation Council demonstrates that Queensland has a strong pipeline of clean energy projects and momentum to reach our 80 per cent renewable energy target by 2035.

"We're seeing strong clean energy investor interest in Queensland following the launch of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. After a decade of uncertainty we finally have a clear plan for phasing out coal and replacing it with renewable energy backed by storage," said Stephanie Gray, renewable energy expert at the Queensland Conservation Council.

"Just in the last year, the percentage of renewable energy contributing to Queensland's electricity mix has grown by 5 per cent to exceed 25 per cent.

"This is great news for our electricity bills that have been sky-high since the invasion of Ukraine pushed up global coal and gas prices. Solar and wind projects can bid into the wholesale electricity market very low because sun and wind don't cost anything.

"We're now at a point where our existing solar and wind farms are keeping the lights on as our ageing coal and gas-fired power stations frequently have unplanned outages."

The report found without renewable energy Queensland’s coal and gas-fired power stations would have been unable to meet 6 per cent of the State's electricity demand, partly due to frequent and sustained unplanned outages.

QCC's State of Queensland's Energy Transition report comes as the Queensland Government is seeking to legislate its 75 per cent emissions reduction target, and new 70 per cent by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035 renewable energy targets. It is unclear if the Queensland Liberal National Party will support the Bills.

The Queensland Conservation Council is urging the State Liberal National Party to support this legislation to provide investment certainty for the industry.

"The national climate and energy wars have meant that we've wasted years when we should have been planning for the sensible roll out of renewable energy to address climate change and keep the lights on as our coal plants head to retirement," said Ms Gray. 

"It was really welcome when Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said that he supported Queensland's new clean energy targets. We strongly encourage the Queensland Liberal National Party to support the legislation and send a clear signal to clean energy investors that Queensland is open for business no matter who wins the election next year.

"Bi-partisan support for renewable energy will set Queensland up for a reliable energy supply, more regional jobs and cheaper electricity prices."

Currently there are approximately 7,700 people employed to build and operate the rooftop and large-scale solar, wind and hydro projects in Queensland. This compares to approximately 2,100 jobs in the fossil fuel sector for domestic electricity generation.

Read the report