Labor put solar power on election agenda

The premier has promised another $150m for solar power generation in Queensland.
The premier has promised another $150m for solar power generation in Queensland.

Labor has promised $150 million to support new large scale renewable generation and solar power in schools as part of its push for solar across the state in the latest round of election commitments.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched the Powering Queensland’s Future Plan on Sunday, while touring the Clare Solar Farm project in Ayr.  

“We are committed to our transition to at least 50 per cent renewable energy in Queensland by 2030,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“Our Powering Queensland’s Future Plan (delivers) delivering more of the cheapest form of new generation – renewables sooner to complement our young and efficient fleet of coal and gas-fired generation.”

Under the plan there will be $97 million for solar schools, $50 million down payment for a new solar thermal power plant, $1 million study for renewable solutions for the Daintree and $3.6 million to help decarbonise remote communities

The Premier said they would establish a new publically owned CleanCo with a mandate to deliver 1000MW of renewable energy with a focus on flexible dispatchable generation.

In the north west solar plants are already in place in Hughenden, Kidston and Normanton with more planned.

Meanwhile the LNP said they would scrap the 50 percent renewable target if elected.

The commitment was in its cheaper energy policy released last week.

Under the plan, Queensland’s generators would be restructured to increase competition, executive bonuses would be frozen, the regulated asset base would be written down by $2 billion, renewable subsidies would be reduced and they would built a “high efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power station” in North Queensland.