Queensland’s electricity supply remains secure – a fact that has been backed up by a report released by Australia’s Energy Market Operator.
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Curtis Pitt said Queenslanders expect and deserve an electricity supply that is secure and reliable and that’s exactly what they’ve got.
“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) report predicts that Queensland’s electricity generation, which is underpinned by coal and gas-fired generators and an increasingly diverse mix of renewable energy and supporting technologies, will be able to meet expected demand in all forecast scenarios,” Mr Pitt said.
“In fact, Queensland’s supply is so secure, we will continue to export electricity supply interstate which means we can help cover predicted shortfalls in southern states due to extreme weather conditions like the heatwaves last summer.
“The AEMO report also sets out that other states are not in the same secure position as Queensland, because of the closure and predicted closure of privately coal-fired power stations in southern states and lack of new supply coming online.
“We’ve seen a lack of industry investment in new energy projects to replace the supply lost in other states – this is due to policy inaction and uncertainty by both the Abbott and Turnbull Governments stifling investment and future industry certainty.”
Mr Pitt said despite the Federal Government’s policy indecision leaving industry in the dark the Queensland government has got the policy settings right for renewables and the continuing security and reliability of Queensland electricity supply.
“Queensland has over 20 renewable energy projects with a capacity of 1,800MW that are either committed or under construction, many of which have not been factored in the AEMO report. This is on top of two large-scale solar projects which have already come online under the Palaszczuk government.
“While no additional generation is needed in Queensland in the short to medium term for security, new renewable generation will help to put downward pressure on wholesale prices.
“This report is more evidence that the Palaszczuk Government’s transition to a 50 per cent renewable energy target is both sensible and ensures security of supply and that the LNP’s push for a coal-fired power station is redundant.”
Mr Pitt said the report proved the LNP opposition’s hyperbole around the Palaszczuk Government’s renewable energy target was nothing but fear-mongering.
“Tim Nicholls and Deb Frecklington today labelled our 50 per cent renewable energy target as ‘extreme’ and ridiculed our plan for Queensland – but the proof is in the pudding and AEMO has today assured Queenslanders that we are in the best position possible, we are an energy powerhouse,” he said.
“Despite this, the LNP want to scrap Queensland’s state-based RET, and instead follow the Turnbull Government who has no plan and no target beyond 2020, just two years away.”
Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government had worked hard to ensure that Queensland had a secure electricity supply and can continue to export power while we transition to a renewable future.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s Powering Queensland Plan promotes our sustainable energy mix including coal, gas and renewables to secure supply an put downward pressure on energy prices,” Mr Pitt said.
“We directed Stanwell to bring Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online and alter its bidding strategies to help maximise downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.
“We’ve also appointed an independent Energy Security Taskforce to develop a Demand Management and Energy Efficiency strategy to better manage peak demand and improve the resilience of the electricity grid.
“Even though Queensland is in an extremely secure position, as proven by today’s report, we will continue to plan for the integration of the next phase of renewables and supporting technologies to ensure we continue to have high security and reliability.”