More than 51,000 construction jobs could be created in Queensland if the 108 large-scale renewable energy projects in the development pipeline went ahead, a new analysis commissioned by Solar Citizens has found.
The analysis by Green Energy Markets found the proposed projects, worth $36 billion to the Queensland economy, would generate enough electricity yearly to cover 92 per cent of Queensland’s electricity usage and provide exciting new employment opportunities for regional Queenslanders.
These job and investment figures come after Queensland Government modelling showed the state economy could face a $10 billion hit from coronavirus.
“These clean energy projects would present ongoing job opportunities for regional Queenslanders and could play a key role in boosting the struggling economy,” said Ellen Roberts, Solar Citizens’ National Director.
“But new renewable projects are facing mountains of hurdles and developers are saying to us, ‘we’re looking down south,’ because the incentives are just not here to bring the projects to Queensland.”
It is understood that a large proportion of the potential 21GW of utility renewable capacity waiting in Queensland's development pipeline is being held up by energy policy uncertainty and the need for new transmission infrastructure.
“Energy policy uncertainty, transmission issues and grid restraints are killing renewable investment in Queensland, and therefore, killing the potential for new renewable jobs,” said Ms Roberts. “The State Government needs to support 1-2GW of new renewable energy generation each year for the next 5 years to maintain a strong jobs and investment pipeline for Queenslanders.”
“We’d also like to see the Government fast-track key transmission projects that will unlock more clean energy potential across the state.”
“The projects in the pipeline now could be just the beginning. Queensland can have a bright economic future using cheap renewable energy resources to power advanced manufacturing and create a new export industry.”
Grid and market obstacles saw the number of new large-scale renewable projects reaching financial close crash from over 1,400MW in 2017 to less than 20MW last year.
Article courtesy of www.solarcitizens.org.au