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CleanCo may need more than $250 million


The Queensland Government is determined to reach its 50 per cent renewables target but there are hurdles along the way.

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Queensland may need to find more than the $250 million it has set aside to fund the expansion of renewable energy through its CleanCo organisation.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said the extra funds would be “off in the future’’ because there is a long list of privately funded renewable energy projects wanting to commit to Queensland.

The Government allocated the $250 million to CleanCo last year to fund 1000 megawatts of energy and help the Government reach its target of 50 per cent renewables, a target that many believe is unachievable.

“We have our trajectory (to 50 per cent) … and we are looking at hitting our target fairly easily,’’ Lynham said.

“We will have to rely on CleanCo and that funding of $250 million. We will have to look more carefully as we go through regarding public funding of our renewable assets. (That means) more funding but that doesn’t ramp up until much later.

“CleanCo is currently in the process of completing the Government’s renewables 400 reverse auction along with spending $250 million on assets it will build, own and operate on behalf of the people of Queensland.

“Once these processes are complete we will be in a better position to assess CleanCo’s future needs.”

Taxpayer funds will also be needed for a major investment in infrastructure to allow renewable energy from north Queensland to flow south.

There is a list of $14 billion in renewable projects proposed for the north, but a lack of poles and wires infrastructure has restricted their ability to proceed and the Government wants to develop an intraconnector to facilitate its delivery to the south of the state.

Lynham has asked the Federal Government to help fund the project as it has in Victoria. The Morrison Government also recently handed over $3 billion to NSW for energy projects, but has not yet responded to Queensland’s request for $1 billion.

Queensland currently generates 15 per cent of its output from renewables and plans to get to 50 per cent by 2030, which would be about 8000 megawatts of capacity.

Investment in renewables has collapsed by almost 60 per cent nationally in the past year because of a lack of an energy policy from the Federal Government.

However, Queensland now expects to reach 20 per cent this year.

Almost $5 billion has been invested in renewables in Queensland since 2016 and another $140 million is committed. After that, there is a pool of projects worth $43 billion at the early stage of development but uncommitted.

Lynham said he expected more investment soon and CleanCo was about to announce the successful tenderers of its 400Mw reverse auction.

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