New measures to improve renewable rollout welcomed

Funding from the Queensland Government to improve the environmental and social outcomes of renewable energy have today been welcomed by the Queensland Conservation Council.

The $5.5 million funding package will go towards facilitating solar panel recycling as well as guiding better practice in the renewable energy sector.

"Queenslanders are world-leaders in the uptake of solar, and that’s great news for millions of Queenslanders and their power bills, but it also means we need to make sure there’s a recycling process in place for when panels start to reach the end of their lives," said Stephanie Gray, campaigner at Queensland Conservation Council.

"We’re anticipating an increase in solar panels coming off roofs as they approach their end of life, after about 25-30 years, or as householders want to upgrade their systems. We still can get this right before we see the peak of households replacing their old panels, but we need to start now.

"Funding for improving community engagement is welcome, but we’re eagerly awaiting the outcome of Queensland’s wind code review, and we’d like to see a solar code implemented in Queensland."

This funding comes as earlier this week the Queensland Conservation Council alongside nine regional conservation groups launched a five-point plan for building renewable energy to benefit nature and communities.

"The best way we can protect the nature we love is to address climate change and build renewable energy projects in the right places where they won’t have unacceptable impacts on precious habitat and biodiversity," said Ms Gray.

"We know that our planning and nature protection laws in Queensland and nationally are not up to scratch so all types of development, from coal mines to renewable projects, are allowed to proceed in areas that should be off limits.

"We’re calling for strengthened national nature protection laws as well as biodiversity mapping to underpin the design of Renewable Energy Zones."