According to research by Green Energy Markets (GEM), Queensland and NSW are lagging behind other states in the pursuit of renewable energy targets. Meanwhile, Tasmania is already effectively 100% renewable, and Victoria is on its way to meeting its 2025 target of 40% of power generation coming from renewables. SA is more than 50% renewable, but needs more capacity to reach its higher target of 100% by 2030. Both Queensland and NSW are falling well short of their targets. For NSW, “to be on track it would need renewables to grow to around 46 per cent of its overall electricity consumption by 2030, but is currently on track to 28 per cent based on expected rooftop solar growth and committed and contracted wind and solar farms,” said GEM’s Tristan Edis. And as for Queensland, he says the state still requires around another 4,500MW of renewable energy project commitments if it is to meet its target of 50% renewables by 2030, even after taking into account the new CleanCo initiative. (Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-02/renewable-energy-targets-may-not-be-met-by-all-states/11267824)
QLD making up ground towards a clean energy future
Since it is state governments that oversee regulation of the power sector, they have the power to drive investment by introducing new initiatives that will reduce emissions and increase competition. And as part of the Queensland government’s Powering Queensland plan, it is establishing a new publicly owned ‘CleanCo’ clean energy generator that will secure a cleaner, more affordable, sustainable and secure energy supply for Queensland. The aim is to support the growth of the renewable energy industry and increase competition in the wholesale electricity market, lowering electricity prices and facilitating a reliable and affordable transition to increased renewable energy. CleanCo will mean jobs in the renewable energy industry, starting with 1000MW of new renewables like solar, wind and hydro.
Energy tariffs and retail prices
It was recently announced that Energy Queensland’s (Energex and Ergon) approved network tariffs will fall by 0.1 per cent, effective from 1 July 2019. Network tariffs are one component of a retail bill, while other retail bill components are forecast to go down over the year. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) would expect retailers to take this into account when developing their market offers going forward. The AER acknowledges that affordability continues to be a concern for Queensland households and businesses and says “it’s important, more now than ever, for customers to understand what’s out in the market and shop around for the best deals using our independent EnergyMadeEasy website.”
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