Energy Estimates: Qld Reaches 25% Renewable Energy

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni has today confirmed that renewable energy now provides a quarter of the Sunshine State’s electricity. The Minister also highlighted during budget estimates that Queenslanders are enjoying the cheapest bills in the country, largely due to the State Government’s $550 electricity rebate.

“It’s wonderful to see Queensland reach this significant clean energy milestone. But we need to make sure that there’s no slowing down in renewable investment if we’re going to meet our renewable energy targets, bring down the State’s emissions and slash power bills,” said Stephanie Gray, Campaigner at Queensland Conservation Council.

“Across the country we’ve seen a concerning drop in the number of solar and wind farms reaching financial close. In Queensland the State Government has made investments in new publicly-owned clean energy projects, but we have no policy incentive to drive the private investment that’s also needed to transform the energy system.

“Our research shows that in 2022 Queensland’s solar and wind farms drove down wholesale electricity prices to the extent that they effectively saved all Queensland households $100.

“Bringing online more renewable energy projects sooner will help bring down bills quicker, which have been inflated due to high global coal and gas prices.”

During the estimates hearing the CEO of CS Energy also revealed for the first time that the explosion at Callide C coal-fired power station is costing a total of $240 million, including $90 million to rebuild the C4 unit and $150 million in lost revenue. The government-owned corporation is hopeful to recoup these expenses from insurance, although that is still being worked through.

The Energy Minister also asserted that the State Government has not denied any requests from government-owned corporations to perform maintenance on the coal-fired power stations.

“Today we heard that government-owned corporations are keeping on top of maintenance at coal-fired power stations, and yet we’re still seeing unplanned outages because Queensland’s coal plants are ageing and have trouble fitting into a modern grid,” said Ms Gray.

“Unplanned coal outages seriously affect the reliability of our electricity supply. Building more firmed renewable energy, like battery storage, is a key way to improve system reliability, especially given the likelihood of more coal outages.”