Why do we have a conflict in Queensland when we have so much land?


Queensland has a huge amount of land, and huge amounts of cleared land. Renewable energy projects are being proposed in areas of remnant forest because:

  • They are incentivised to connect as close as possible to the transmission lines (PDF) which run up the Great Dividing Range foothills by lower costs
  • They have to be developed in windy areas, which, in eastern Queensland near transmission lines, are largely limited to ridgelines
  • They want to be close enough to towns and cities to minimise losses but far enough away to minimise interaction and nuisance to neighbours

Solar farms also have the same incentive to connect to transmission lines but are more flexible in terms of areas that they can connect, and require less land.

However, solar farms require fully cleared land which can have significant nature impacts, as well as land use conflicts. Transmission and associated renewable energy export opportunities such as hydrogen also have potential large impacts on nature.