Energy Minister Reassures Queensland About Renewable Energy Target Concerns

By Veronica Costas

While Queensland’s current renewable energy level is about seven per cent, the state government released a report on how to achieve the 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, saying it would also be “broadly cost-neutral” to consumers.

The draft report identified three slightly different pathway options to arrive at the target and Energy Minister Mark Bailey says two of them do not involve any power station closures.

Engineer and investment banker Colin Mugglestone, said consumer impact would be alleviated by lower wholesale prices driven by renewables being introduced to the system. “There may be changes on a year-on-year basis, but the modelling we’ve assumed is, over the period, on-average broadly cost-neutral,” Mr Mugglestone said.

Matt Canavan, Federal Resources Minister, believes the target is “certifiable mad” and said it could put Queensland at risk of mass outages like those in South Australia. To that, Mr Mugglestone responded that modelling acknowledged Queensland has a more diverse generation mix. “We found that Queensland can meet a 50 per cent renewable energy target while maintaining electricity security and reliability over the next 14 years,” he said. The government is also trying to highlight other economic benefits like clean energy investment and related jobs, particularly in regional areas.