Environmental groups react to State Gov renewables funding
Two of Australia’s leading environmental conservation groups have released statements sharing their delight at a recent Queensland Government funding allocation.
The State Government will invest $2 billion into renewable energy and hydrogen jobs as part of its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
The $2 billion investment will provide cheaper, cleaner energy to power more jobs and more industries in Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the announcement of the $2 billion ‘Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund’ was a watershed moment in the economic development of Queensland.
“Queensland is positioned better than anywhere in Australia to capitalise on the jobs and industries that will flow from this cheaper, cleaner energy,” she said.
“This $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund is all about more jobs and more industries.
“It will also support the further development of Queensland’s resources sector while at the same time helping to deliver on our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.”
Australian Conservation Foundation Climate Change Campaigner Jason Lyddieth said the investment was a significant one in the move away from coal.
“It positions Queensland to become a big clean energy exporter,” Mr Lyddieth said.
“It makes sense for Queensland to take advantage of our bountiful sunshine and wind resources to power our own state and drive new export industries like green steel, green aluminium and hydrogen.
“Queensland is already being hard hit by climate change with higher temperatures damaging the Great Barrier Reef and making once wet rainforests vulnerable to bushfires.
“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.
“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.”
Mr Lyddieth said Queensland’s 2030, targets to reduce emissions by 30 per cent and have 50 per cent of electricity from renewables, should be much stronger.
“Earlier this week the State government sent a pumped hydro scheme at Borumba Dam to planning stage and secured land for a 3GW hydrogen electrolyser plant near Gladstone,” he said.
“A report released last year showed how Gladstone can build on its success as an industrial and export centre to become a renewable energy powered hub for industries like aluminium, steel, cement and hydrogen.”
Queensland Conservation Council Director Dave Copeman said the announcement would be money in the pocket for Queenslanders over the coming decade.
“This public investment in storage will make more cheap, clean renewable energy generation possible,” Mr Copeman said.
“It will make the grid more secure, and help smooth out the evening peak in wholesale electricity prices.
“The State Government has already steered Queensland through a period of rapid growth in renewable energy.
“In 2020, renewable energy, including rooftop solar, supplied around 20 per cent of Queensland’s demand.
“We still have a long way to go until we reach the Queensland Renewable Energy Target of 50 per cent by 2030.
“More importantly, we have a long way to go to reduce Queensland’s emissions as quickly as we need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.”
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