The Queensland Government’s announcement of a range of policy measures and its commitment to a 50 per cent target for renewable energy by 2030 means new investment in power generation, jobs in regional centres and lower power prices, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said Queensland is in the midst of a renewable energy investment boom, with almost 20 projects either under construction or due to start this year.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton welcomed the announcement as a strong and comprehensive package which will ensure greater energy security and increased competition in the state’s energy market.

“Queensland is in the midst of a renewable energy investment boom, with almost 20 projects either under construction or due to start this year.

"This current investment boom is worth $2.2 billion, 1000 MW of new generation capacity and almost 1700 direct jobs, with many more benefits flowing into regional areas. Today’s policy initiatives will ensure this is just the beginning,” Mr Thornton said.

“The Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has been a key driver of this new investment, but the target is only to 2020 and there is no national energy policy in place beyond this point.

"A decade has now been wasted on the political debate about energy policy and this has resulted in under-investment in new generation. The states are no longer waiting for leadership from the Federal Government.

“Renewable energy such as solar and wind has fallen in price to such an extent that it is now the lowest cost power generation possible to build today – cheaper than electricity produced by either new coal or new gas. With more than half of our coal plants past retirement age and the cost of gas skyrocketing, we can modernise our energy system with renewables at a lower cost than ever before,” he said.

As part of its commitment to delivering 50 per cent of the state’s electricity renewable energy by 2030 the Queensland Government today announced a reverse auction scheme expected to deliver 400 MW of new projects, which will deliver new jobs and investment to regional areas.

Mr Thornton said reverse auctions – where project developers bid to build projects at the lowest possible price – had been pioneered with great success and record low project cost in Australia by the ACT Government.

“The whole energy industry is hopeful that the final report from the Chief Scientist’s review of Australia’s energy security this week will provide a reset point and potentially broker a renewed spirit of bipartisanship. But it is understandable that states like Queensland are being proactive in providing the long-term investment certainty the sector needs to invest in new power generation.”

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.