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Sunshine state's renewable energy plan

Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on 28 September an ambitious $62 billion plan for the state to become an ‘energy superpower’ — setting new targets of 70% renewable energy by 2032 and 80% by 2035.

The targets will be legislated and are planned to deliver a 50% reduction in electricity sector emissions on 2005 levels by 2030; and a 90% reduction in electricity emissions by 2035–36.

$11bn of the investment in total to 2035 is going towards a new super grid.

“If our Bruce Highway is our backbone, the super grid will be our artery of the clean energy industrial revolution,” Palaszczuk said in her statement.

The super grid will support 22 gigawatts of new wind and solar power, which could mean that the state will have the largest capacity for renewable energy in the nation. Work will start next week with the Kaban Wind Farm being energised — part of the Far North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone.

The state is also investing in pumped hydro energy storage, with 5 GW of 24-hour storage and the potential for stage one to be completed by 2032.

According to the Climate Council, Queensland's new Energy and Jobs Plan represents a great leap forward in delivering clean energy, thousands of jobs, and multimillion dollar economic opportunities for the Sunshine State.

“With its Energy Plan, Queensland has set itself up to cash in on the global transition away from polluting coal and gas, while bringing coal workers and regional communities along on the inevitable journey. It’s great to see that 95% of the $62 billion spent on this plan will be invested in the regions,” Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council, said.

“This now puts Queensland ahead of the big states for their 2030 renewable energy targets. Queensland is now aiming for 60% by 2030, compared to Victoria which has pledged 50% by 2030 and no specific target for New South Wales.”

According to Palaszczuk, by 2035 when stage two comes online, Queensland will have no regular reliance on coal.

“Queensland, it’s our time to shine,” concluded Palaszczuk in her statement.

Image credit: iStock.com/Blablo101

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