Queensland’s Labor government announced that the state has installed a milestone 4GW of solar capacity. Not only does this mean QLD’s solar capacity is twice that of its biggest power station, the Gladstone coal station, but it also means that it’s installed the equivalent of three panels per resident!
Although energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced the milestone back in October, it was probably passed earlier in the year. It’s believed that small-scale rooftop installations alone count for 2.7GW, with large-scale capacity coming in at 1.7GW thanks to the 30 solar farms running to date.
This is a big change for QLD, being as it is the state most dependent on fossil fuels, and it’s a big step towards its plans to go 20% renewable by 2020 and half and half by 2030.
More than half a million home solar installations
Queensland has more than 560,000 rooftop installations as well as its 30 solar farms. It also has six of the top ten solar postcodes in the country, which shows how much Queenslanders love their solar power and reducing their bills.
Right now, the state is at 13% renewable, but with Cooper’s Gap wind farm and even more solar coming online, those targets are drawing ever nearer.
The Affordable Energy Plan is paying dividends
Queensland’s government’s Affordable Energy Plan is certainly doing its bit to help. Up to date the initiative has provided loans and grants that have helped almost 2,500 homes and small businesses to install a battery system. There should be another 1,500 grants and loans approved by the time the initiative ends next summer.
There’s also a lot of work being done to replace the high-emissions and high-cost diesel power stations at some of the more remote settlements like the Lockhart River and Doomadgee Aboriginal communities. There’s already a solar farm at Doomadgee and this work will extend it, while government officials have started talks with Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire and Northern Peninsula Area Regional councils.