(Australian Associated Press)
Renewable energy projects could supply one-third of Queensland’s electricity by 2025, a study has found.
Renewables already account for more than 20 per cent of Queensland’s power consumption, up from less than four per cent between 2000 and 2010, according to research commissioned by Australian Conservation Foundation.
The study shows thousands of new jobs for engineers, truck drivers, electricians and mechanics could emerge during the renewables boom.
But the ACF report released on Wednesday states Queensland needs “stronger political will, better planning and policies to rejuvenate its energy system and phase out polluting energy”.
The state’s growth will be driven largely by a wind farm near Warwick and a solar farm near Chinchilla, both west of Brisbane, as well as households and businesses adding solar systems to their rooftops.
Gladstone in central Queensland is also slated as the next growth area for renewable energy projects with four significant solar farms already proposed.
Renewable energy consultant Tristan Edis, who conducted the research for ACF, said more than 78,000 job-years of construction employment could open up if all proposed projects were pursued across the state.
A further 5200 permanent, full-time construction jobs and 4100 positions in facility operations and management would also be created.
ACF Queensland campaigner Jason Lyddieth said the sunshine state was well positioned to be a superpower in the renewable industries of the future, but it was a competitive field with other states investing heavily.
“To increase the chances of success, regions will need investment in high-quality transmission infrastructure, supportive government policy that recognises the importance of tackling the threat of a changing climate, and a skilled and enthusiastic workforce,” the report said.