The Queensland state government has announced a $2bn fund to be invested in the renewable energy market. In a major step away from coal and gas, Queensland looks to position itself as a leader in the transition to renewable energy.
Boosting Queensland’s renewable sector
In what’s been described as a watershed moment for the economic development of Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a $2bn commitment to boost renewable jobs. The fund is set to be used to develop a clean hydrogen industry, as well as mining minerals needed for batteries, solar panels and electric vehicles. Palaszczuk described the initiative as creating a self-reinforcing cycle of investment – a job-generating clean energy ecosystem.
Another huge benefit to the $2bn investment in renewable energy is the range of jobs set to be created. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk envisions the fund will be used towards mining minerals for batteries and renewables in Queensland. But on top of that, she hopes it will also mean processing the minerals and making batteries in Queensland. It’s a sentiment that state energy minister Mick de Brenni agrees with.
“There is no reason why solar panels, electrolysers, batteries, wind farm components and new technology can’t be manufactured right here in Queensland,” said Mr de Brenni. “This fund will create a pipeline of demand for local manufacturing across the entire value chain, and that means more jobs for Queenslanders.”
In addition to mining and processing minerals and building batteries in Queensland, the Premier wants to see hydrogen electrolysers built locally, as well as a local assembly of wind turbines and solar panels.
A big win for the environment
The Queensland state government has already stated publicly that it wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050, with the more pressing target of reducing 2005 emission levels by 30% by 2030. Some have criticised this short-term goal as not being strong enough, however, the recent investment announcement has many believing that Queensland will lead the way when it comes to climate change.
Jason Lyddieth from the Australian Conservation Foundation praised the move away from coal and gas. “Climate change is a real and serious threat to our way of life, so – as well as boosting renewables capacity – Queensland needs to get out of coal and gas,” he said. “We need a plan to look after the workers, communities and families who will be most affected by the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels.”