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Rubbery figures: Audit Office raises questions over state's renewable energy targets

Business

The Queensland Government appears to have overstated its renewable energy levels, according to a report from the Queensland Audit Office.

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The government has previously said that about 20 per cent of the state’s electricity generation came from renewables, which by itself was still the lowest of all Australian states.

But the Audit Office found it was likely to be less than that because the government’s calculation did not include all non-renewable energy, such as diesel generators and major industrial facilities like the state’s LNG plants, that occurred outside the national market.

“We re-calculated performance against the target and found Queensland’s progress was around 19 per cent. This is an important difference as each percentage point change in the level of renewable energy translates into a sizeable change in Queensland’s energy system,” the Audit Office report said.

It also found about 8 per cent of electricity generated in Queensland was exported to other states and the Government’s calculations did not include that, either.

The government expects that by 2025 about 35 per cent of all energy consumed in Queensland would be from renewable sources. To achieve that about a quarter of all the generation forecast in projects in the early stages of development would need to go ahead.

However, in the past only nine per cent of potential renewable energy generation actually became operational.

The Audit Office also raised questions over the government’s handling of the risks of not achieving its targets, but it found the department had very little detail on how it would handle this and its register of risks did not have anything on management control, action or other response to address the risk.

 

 

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