Essay by Eric Worrall
“Progress has been glacial” – In 2017 Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pledged to cut CO2 emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Fast Forward to 2022, Queensland’s coal power plants are still going full steam, propping up the faltering green power grids of Southern states.
Queensland climate change targets in doubt
Marty Silk 12:13pm, May 30
Queensland has one of the hardest paths to net zero.
Australia’s biggest carbon polluter depends on fossil fuel to keep the lights on and pay the bills.
Drastic action that would steer the path to energy stability is a politically and economically volatile proposition, just as inertia is as climate deteriorates.
Yet the clock is ticking on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s 2017 climate pledges.
By 2030, emissions will be 30 per cent below 2005 levels, she has promised, along with a 50 per cent renewable energy target.
Progress has been glacial.
Energy Minister Mick de Brenni promises the 2030 energy blueprint will come in September.
He’s adamant the plan will be a win-win for consumers, industry, investors and climate.
“Queenslanders will continue to have access to affordable, reliable energy powering more jobs and more industries,” Mr de Brenni says.
Yet, the minister is ambiguous about eight coal-fired power plants that belch almost half the state’s emissions.
He says none will close but some could be converted into battery or hydrogen hubs.
…Read more: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/qld/2022/05/30/queensland-climate-change-targets-doubt/
The reason none of the coal power plants will close is, despite years of green enthusiasm, the state of Queensland still can’t live without them. For example, a single major failure at the Queensland Callide Coal Plant last year caused massive disruption to the network.
The funny part is, the Queensland State Government keeps claiming the state is “renewable ready”. The Queensland government is waiting by the phone for investors to call, to take advantage of all the glorious opportunities they have provided. But if the claim of “glacial” progress is true, that phone isn’t ringing.
Queensland is Renewable Ready
It’s an exciting time to be in Queensland.
If you need clean energy to power what you do, Queensland’s the place to get it.
Queensland’s combination of significant renewable resources – we have over 300 days of sunshine each year, an abundance of new economy minerals, world class ports, long-standing trading partnerships, our proximity to Asian markets, and a government ready to work with you to seize this opportunity, all position Queensland to play a significant role in the world’s future need for renewable energy powered supply chains.
Queensland is investing heavily in renewable energy and has committed to achieving zero net emissions by 2050. Already a number of projects across the state are providing more renewable energy into the grid, helping create jobs and add more opportunities to the state’s economy.
Because of this investment, Queensland is becoming a destination of choice for manufacturers and project proponents who want to decarbonise their supply chains and draw on renewable energy to fuel their work.
Already, we’ve partnered with industry to deliver cleaner manufacturing, including a dedicated multi-signatory statement of cooperation for Central Queensland.
With an ambitious agenda for growing more jobs in more industries, the Queensland Government is working to facilitate investment that will ensure the state seizes its opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower.
…Read more: https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/industry/queensland-is-renewable-ready
Why is Queensland lagging so badly on their net zero plan, when we have “300 days of sunshine each year”? Why aren’t investors rushing in to put their own money into making Queensland a “renewable energy superpower”?
In my opinion, the reason for the “glacial” progress, the reason investors are not rushing in to fulfil the Queensland Government’s Net Zero fantasies is, 300 days of sunlight is not 365 days. Investors know that power demand on those 65 missing days, and on most nights, will need to be filled by fossil fuel generators. During sunless periods power prices will skyrocket – fossil fuel operators will jack prices up, to make up for all the money they didn’t make on sunny days, when they were playing second fiddle to renewables.
Everyone knows what this will do to electricity prices
President Obama, whatever his faults, told the truth about the cost of renewable energy, and what renewables would do to end user energy prices. But as far as I know he was the last green politician to be honest about the cost.
Queensland, much of Australia, has fallen for the lie that renewables will lower energy prices. But eventually Queensland voters and everyone else will tire of waiting for that cheap electricity to arrive. And green entrepreneurs in my opinion are well aware that when this day of reckoning comes, they run a serious risk of losing whatever capital they invested in Queensland’s Net Zero green energy revolution.
There is a solution – the Queensland Government guarantor all the investment capital. But then how do they justify private entrepreneurs keeping all the profit, if taxpayers are effectively carrying the risk? Nevertheless, unless the government provides an unassailably guaranteed return on capital and investment, my prediction is progress towards Net Zero will continue to be “glacial”.