The future of Central Queensland’s renewable energy industry will be on the agenda at the Energy Futures summit in Gladstone on Wednesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 22, at Central Queensland University. Picture: iStock
The future of Central Queensland’s renewable energy industry will be on the agenda at the Energy Futures summit in Gladstone on Wednesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 22, at Central Queensland University. Picture: iStock

CQ’s renewable energy on agenda at Energy Futures Summit

Gladstone could become a “global clean energy superpower”, the Energy Futures Summit will hear at a two-day forum involving Queensland energy heavyweights kicking off in the port city on Wednesday.

Creating a positive renewable future for Central Queensland and seizing economic opportunities on the horizon will be on the agenda of closed-door discussions between all relevant parties.

Energy companies Stanwell, CS Energy and CleanCo will meet with industry players including Rio Tinto, state, local and federal government departments, unions, environment groups, education institutions and Traditional Owner groups to look to the future.

The Next Economy CEO Amanda Cahill will host the Energy Futures Summit at Gladstone on April 21 and 22, 2021, at CQ University.
The Next Economy CEO Amanda Cahill will host the Energy Futures Summit at Gladstone on April 21 and 22, 2021, at CQ University.

The city’s vital deep port and the Hydrogen Park Gladstone proposal are key components to the transition by the region to renewable energy.

The Energy Futures Summit will precede the global Leaders’ Summit on Climate, to be held virtually over April 23 and 24.

Event host, The Next Economy’s CEO Amanda Cahill, said the summit couldn’t come at a better time for Central Queensland, as people were wanting to look to the future, but were also increasingly concerned about what the current changes to the energy sector mean for the

region.

“There is a bright and prosperous future awaiting Central Queensland if we can seize the

opportunities available right now in renewable energy generation, manufacturing and green

hydrogen,” Ms Cahill said.

“But first, we need to support industry, workers and communities through these

changes so that everyone benefits.

“Regional leaders across industry, government and civil society are tired of waiting for state and federal governments to lead on this issue.

Professor Frank Jotzo from the ANU Centre for Climate and Energy Policy will be involved in the Energy Futures Summit on April 21 and 22, 2021, at Central Queensland University, Gladstone. Picture: supplied
Professor Frank Jotzo from the ANU Centre for Climate and Energy Policy will be involved in the Energy Futures Summit on April 21 and 22, 2021, at Central Queensland University, Gladstone. Picture: supplied

“The region wants to see better co-ordination and funding from both the State and Federal Governments to better manage the energy transition.”

The Energy Futures Summit also coincides with Earth Day 2021, on April 22.

Australian Conservation Foundation’s Climate and Energy program manager, Gavan

McFadzean, said the world was rapidly moving away from coal and gas to renewable energy.

He said Gladstone, with its skilled workforce, deep port, industrial base and proximity to Asian markets, was well placed to take advantage of the jobs boom in new industries.

“In the absence of federal and state leadership, it’s essential that local communities in coal and

gas regions take charge in developing plans to create the jobs and industries of the future in a

low carbon pollution world,” Mr McFadzean said.

Professor Ross Garnaut is involved in the Energy Futures Summit at Gladstone on April 21 and 22, 2021. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Professor Ross Garnaut is involved in the Energy Futures Summit at Gladstone on April 21 and 22, 2021. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

“This summit is a breakthrough with key stakeholders coming together to develop that plan.

“Gladstone can be a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal and

gas with renewable energy in existing industries like aluminium smelting, and through

manufactured products like green hydrogen, steel and aluminium.”

The outcomes and recommendations from the Summit will be presented back to participants

and the State Government for consideration in planning processes.

Held at the CQ University Gladstone campus across Wednesday and Thursday, April 21 and 22, the summit is sponsored by Stanwell, CleanCo, ACF, CQ University and the CEFC.

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