Making renewables work for Queensland workers, families and communities
Published Tuesday, 10 August, 2021 at 02:52 PM
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni
Queensland communities will be the first in the nation to be asked how they want the multi-billion dollar renewable energy sector to benefit their families, jobs and regions.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni today launched public consultation to collect community feedback on Queensland’s renewable energy zones (QREZs).
Support for renewables is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This will be the first time in the nation that communities will be able to have their say on how renewable projects and energy infrastructure within the QREZ are developed to benefit them, their family, and their community,” Mr de Brenni said.
“We will ensure that QREZs are developed in a way that maximises community benefits and economic outcomes.
“This consultation paper outlines principles for engagement, sharing benefits with communities and delivering local jobs and local procurement in QREZ.
“It seeks to understand what local communities, small business, manufacturers and renewables and hydrogen project developers view as important in the development of Queensland’s renewable energy zones and how to deliver lasting, meaningful benefits for communities and workers.
“This will ensure community views and genuine local benefits are front and centre in the development process for QREZ.”
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said Queensland’s renewable energy zones offered massive opportunities.
“The QREZ approach has enormous potential to accelerate renewable energy deployment across regional Queensland and deliver significant jobs and economic opportunities,” Mr Thornton said.
“It’s crucial that the voice of the community is central in getting the design of QREZ right and we welcome this important consultation.
Mr de Brenni said the public consultation would be followed by a technical paper later in the year, for feedback from industry and other energy stakeholders on the framework for QREZ design and access.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to creating jobs in new and existing decarbonised industries as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan,” Mr de Brenni said.
“To do that we need to deliver them the reliable, affordable and renewable energy to enable more job creation throughout the regions.
“Our renewable energy zones will do just that.
“It’s likely that the Queensland economy will require three times the current amount of energy in coming decades to ensure we can decarbonise existing industries and grow our economy.”
The online survey is open until 30 September 2021.
The Northern QREZ is rich in renewable resources with some of the best untapped wind in the country. It covers 22 Local Government Areas to the north of Mackay and surrounding areas, up to Townsville and Cairns and extending north.
As part of the registration of interest held last year, 53 projects registered interest in the Northern QREZ representing over $23B of potential investment.
The Central QREZ is currently the energy powerhouse of Queensland with significant long-term hydrogen potential. It covers 14 Local Government Areas in the areas surrounding Rockhampton, Gladstone, and Bundaberg. It is home to large energy producers and demand through its industrial processing facilities, like the Boyne Island aluminium smelter.
As part of the registration of interest held last year, 67 renewable projects registered interest in the Central QREZ representing over $39B of potential investment.
The Southern QREZ has a diverse mix of industries and communities and covers 12 regional Local Government Areas in the south-west and includes Toowoomba, Warwick and Dalby.
As part of the registration of interest held last year, more than 72 projects registered interest in the Southern QREZ representing over $30B of potential investment.
The region’s strong wind and solar resources mean the Southern QREZ has already seen significant growth in renewable energy generation.
It is already host to 16 large-scale committed wind and solar projects, including the state’s largest operating wind farm, Coopers Gap, at 453MW, soon to be overtaken by the 1026MW MacIntyre Wind Farm.
Media contact: Dan Knowles 0432 681 664