MEDIA RELEASE: November 12, 2017
Labor renews cleaner energy commitment as it seeks power
Peak environment group the Queensland Conservation Council has welcomed Labor’s renewed commitment to a cleaner energy future for Queensland, saying today’s announcement by Premier Palaszczuk and Energy Minister Mark Bailey consolidates the government’s pathway to 50% renewable energy by 2030, and offers new opportunities to build on that.
Labor has just released its latest energy policy document Powering Queensland’s Future: Affordable, Stable and Balanced, which reconfirms its target for renewable energy generation in Queensland by 2030, but now speaks of it being ‘locked in’ and for ‘at least 50%’, suggesting it could increase.
The policy also lays out more information about the previously flagged ‘CleanCo’ publicly-owned low/no emissions power generator providing 1000MW+ of electricity supply, a $50 million investment in solar thermal and storage development, and other initiatives including greater uptake of rooftop solar and energy efficiency in state schools.
“Renewable energy is the cleanest, cheapest, best energy option for the future”, said Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig.
“Labor’s policy commitments indicate it appreciates what our future energy system has to be based around, and that government has a critical role to play in making it happen.
“The ‘50% renewable energy by 2030’ target already adopted by Labor has been a vital part of encouraging investment in new projects and new technologies. This achievable medium-term target for renewables should be endorsed across the political spectrum.
“Building further on this target is now really important, as is the locking of targets in through legislation to provide certainty and accountability, in the transition to a fully-renewables and clean energy based power system for Queensland.
“The best way to reduce power prices long-term is to rapidly transition our energy system to something that runs on freely available resources such as the sun, wind and water, and where energy can be stored and distributed locally.
“Queensland is a leader in take-up of household rooftop solar, but we need to keep supporting largescale renewables investment, and largescale battery technology and local network systems.
“The proposed government-owned CleanCo energy generator with its own clear target for renewable energy supply will help make this happen, while the investment in developing up solar thermal technology will take us to a new scale of 24 hour renewable energy production.
“We also need a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and demand reduction through smart technologies, and renewed focus on better household, business and other energy consumption and management. This will help with power costs. Having clean energy schools is a great start.
“Renewable energy is one critical pathway to cutting carbon emissions. Ensuring we don’t allow any new coal or gas fired power development in Queensland, and weaning ourselves off existing fossil fuels-based power, are now essential.
“We understand that the switch from coal and gas power can’t happen overnight. But Queensland should be aiming to get away from dirty power generation as quickly as possible, and embrace the energy future that does not cost the earth.”
QCC’s policy for renewables and climate can be seen at: http://bit.ly/2gUWXYI
For further comment contact:
Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183