A Renewable Energy Target for Queensland — Towards a Sustainable Energy Future

imageSubmission to Queensland Government’s Environment and Resources Committee
Growing Queensland’s Renewable Energy Electricity Sector
Prepared by Trevor Berrill on behalf of Sustainable Energy Policy Queensland (SEPQ)
1 July, 2010

SEPQ welcomes and commends Queensland Government on current initiatives as outlined in the 2009 Renewable Energy Plan. This plan is in its infancy and has yet to be aligned with a renewable energy electricity generation target.

SEPQ recommends that the State Government sets a minimum target of 40 percent renewable energy electricity generation by 2020.

While this target would require strong supporting policy, it has been shown in countries such as Denmark, Germany, Spain, some States within the USA, and now China, that rapid deployment of renewable energy technologies is achievable due to the modular nature of the technologies and the ability to mass produce these technologies. When combined with equally strong energy efficiency policy and measures, net benefits to economies are achieved.
The minimum target of 40 percent is suggested based on an analysis and comparison of a series of existing national renewable energy and energy efficiency scenario studies and targets. These studies are outlined in more detail later in this paper. The most recent of these studies suggest that technically, Australia could build a reliable electrical system based on 100 percent renewable energy supply with an expenditure of 3 percent of GDP over 10 years. While this study may be correct, the political reality of delivering such a change to our electrical system would encounter enormous barriers. Some of these barriers are outlined in this submission.

The proposed minimum target, in combination with strong energy efficiency measures, would:
 Position Queensland and Australia as a leader, rather than a trailer, in the fight against climate change and set an example to other State and countries.
 Provide a large number of jobs across regional areas of Queensland.
 Provide stable and cheaper energy costs in the long run due to economies of scale and cost reductions in mass production and if external costs are fully internalised in the cost of energy from fossil fuel.
 Provide a renewable energy industry base whose knowledge, skills and technology could be exported to off-set coal royalties.

Queenslanders have been calling for our energy supply to come from renewable (and energy efficiency) for many years. Their uptake of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating systems on their homes in recent years is testament to this support.
We call on the Queensland Government to take this bold step in setting a 40 percent target, which will have the strong support of the majority of the people of Queensland.

Read full submission @ SEPQ Submission – RE Target for Qld

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