What is the total land required for the transition?
The direct clearing required for wind farms is a small percentage of the land that is under the footprint of the wind farm, as there needs to be a lot of space between the turbines.
Queensland’s first three major wind farms, Coopers Gap, Kaban and Mt Emerald, have an average power density of 22 hectares land per MW capacity. In contrast, the proposed projects have a direct clearing impact of 1.7 hectares/MW.
Solar farms have a much higher power density, albeit on entirely cleared land. The Queensland Solar Farm Guidelines (PDF) have a conservative estimate of 3 hectares of land per MW capacity.
Transmission will also require a significant amount of clearing. Transmission often requires cleared corridors of 70 - 100m.
To build the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan to 2035, we would need:
- 12.1 GW solar (including existing)
- 12.9 GW wind (including existing)
- Up to 3,200 km of new transmission lines
This would add up to a total land impact of nearly 350,000 hectares. This is around 0.2% of Queensland's total land area.
This is the total land would be leased by renewable companies but could still be used by For solar farms, this would be almost entirely on cleared land but wind farms only have to clear a small percentage of land impacted to build the turbines. We estimate the cleared land required to be around 10% of the total land required, at 32,000 ha.