Queensland, blessed with an abundance of natural resources, has emerged as a frontrunner in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. In this article, we delve into the world of renewable energy in Queensland, exploring its remarkable progress, notable initiatives, and the promising future it holds. From sun-kissed solar arrays to majestic wind turbines and hydro-powered wonders, Queensland is at the forefront of making the transition to renewable energy.
THE POWER OF SOLAR
With its sunny climate, Queensland is the ideal location for harnessing solar power. The state’s solar energy capacity has surged significantly in recent years, contributing substantially to the renewable energy mix. According to the Clean Energy Council, Queensland boasted over 2.5 million solar panels installed across homes and businesses by the end of 2021. This exponential growth in solar adoption is a testament to Queensland’s commitment to sustainability and a greener future.
Wall Planning Group were proud to be a part of the transition through facilitation of community consultation sessions for Clermont Solar Farm and Rugby Run Solar Farm, providing clear communication channels between project and community throughout the approvals process to ensure best outcome for the project and the community.
WIND ENERGY ON THE RISE
Beyond the golden rays, Queensland’s coastal regions and open spaces offer another abundant resource – wind. Wind energy projects have been popping up in strategic locations that capitalize on consistent and strong breezes with many more ready to commence construction or currently going through government approvals. One of the significant milestones in the state’s wind energy journey was the completion of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm in 2019. Located between Kingaroy and Dalby, this project boasts over 120 turbines and has the capacity to power around 260,000 households annually.
Wall Planning Group are proud to be an ongoing part of this exciting new part of renewable energy through facilitation of community consultation sessions for Boomer Range, Boulder Creek, Lotus Creek, and Specimen Hill wind farms, located throughout Central Queensland. These consultations provided clear channels of communication between project and community to ensure that information was properly shared for best outcome for both project and community.
THE ROLE OF HYDROPOWER
Queensland’s vast network of rivers and waterways provides opportunities for hydropower generation. Hydropower plays a crucial role in the state’s renewable energy portfolio, offering flexibility in electricity supply and storage. Projects like the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station have been providing clean energy to Queenslanders for decades, underscoring the state’s commitment to sustainable power generation. At present, the Queensland Government has committed to building the Borumba Hydro Project, which will be a pumped hydro storage facility situated west of Gympie. This project is still subject to government approvals.
EXPLORING GEOTHERMAL AND HYDROGEN
Queensland is charging ahead with exploration and approvals underway for other renewable energy options across the state – Hydrogen and Geothermal Energy.
Hydrogen Energy is particularly fascinating, making use of existing renewables such as solar, wind and hydropower to power an electrolyser that converts water into hydrogen gas, which is then storable and transportable, making it an enticing option that allows for resource sharing. As a power source, it is clean, safe and reliable and far more powerful and energy efficient than fossil fuels. The project leading the way in Queensland is the CQ-H2 project in Central Queensland, which will include a hydrogen export facility in Gladstone and is proposed to produce around 3,000MW of hydrogen by the early 2030s. Not only will this support domestic customers, but it will also be exported to boost the economy.
Geothermal Energy is another emerging renewable energy source in Queensland, with projects in exploration and approval phases. Geothermal energy is the harnessing of the earth’s own heat to be converted into energy. This can be tapped a variety of ways, using water, including from natural hot springs, hot rock, vapour (such as geysers), and magma. Queensland is ideal capturing geothermal energy through hot dry rock. Geothermal energy is clean and renewable, however there should be consideration for available water resources within these projects.
THE FUTURE OUTLOOK
The Queensland Government has been actively promoting renewable energy adoption through various policies and incentives. The Queensland Renewable Energy Plan outlines the state’s vision to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030, with a strong emphasis on driving innovation and job creation in the sector. The government’s commitment to fostering sustainable energy projects has attracted investment and elevated Queensland in the race to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Queensland’s renewable energy success can also be attributed to the growing awareness of Stakeholder and Community Engagement across the state. Educational programs and community initiatives have played a vital role in empowering residents to embrace sustainable practices and renewable energy technologies. Government initiatives like “Solar for Rentals” and community-funded solar projects have allowed even more households to participate in the clean energy revolution.
As the state moves forward, driving innovation and adoption of clean technologies, the future of renewable energy in Queensland looks brighter than ever.
RENEWABLE PROJECTS WITH WALL PLANNING
Wall Planning Group have been bringing communities and renewable projects together for almost a decade, assisting projects to open healthy communication and feedback channels as they navigate through government approvals and investor reporting. To discuss your renewable project with us, contact us today.