The government of the Australian state of Queensland will hold a reverse auction for up to 400 MW of renewable energy, including 100 MW of energy storage, under a plan to "ensure affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply."
The government confirmed its commitment to a 50% renewable energy target by 2030 as part of its Powering Queensland Plan, unveiled in a pre-budget announcement on Monday.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said that on the basis of the recommendations of the Renewable Energy Expert Panel, "the Government will support investment for up to 400 megawatts of a diversified renewable energy capacity by providing revenue certainty through a reverse auction process, including a 100 megawatt energy storage component, with an emphasis on supporting local jobs and benefits." The panel, appointed by the state, last year suggested that to reach its 50% target Queensland could launch an up-to-400-MW renewables auction prior to 2020.
The energy plan announced today by the state government also includes the AUD-386-million (USD 285m/EUR 254m) Powering North Queensland Plan that was unveiled on Friday and that includes investment for a new transmission line that could unlock some 2 GW of renewable energy projects.
Another measure, which was also announced last week, is a AUD-770-million investment by the state government over three years to cover the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme in order to cut an expected electricity price increase.
Under the plan, the government will also set up Energy Security Taskforce to steer the state's energy security in both the short and long term.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the plan is a decisive action to deal with Australia's current energy crisis. She commented that wholesale prices and energy security have become key issues in Australia over the last six months as a result of a lack of federal policy leadership undermining industry investment, gas supply restrictions in southern states, retirement of ageing coal-fired power stations and unprecedented demand during recent summer heatwaves.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.739/EUR 0.658)
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