Queensland unveils USD-1.5bn renewables and hydrogen jobs fund
The Warwick solar farm in Queensland. Source: The University of Queensland
The Queensland government on Thursday announced a AUD-2-billion (USD 1.5bn/EUR 1.3bn) renewable energy and hydrogen jobs fund as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
The government says that the AUD-2-billion investment will bring forth cheaper, cleaner energy that will power more jobs and industries in the state.
The Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund increases the existing AUD-500-million Queensland Renewable Energy Fund by AUD 1.5 billion. It takes the whole Queensland Jobs Fund, created by the government by mainly bringing together current measures and announced on Sunday, to AUD 3.34 billion.
The renewables and hydrogen jobs fund enables energy government-owned corporations to own more commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects, as well as supporting infrastructure, including in partnership with private companies, it is explained on the fund’s website section.
Developing hydrogen and renewable projects means cheaper energy powering more Queensland manufacturing, the government says. Increased clean energy demand, meanwhile, is expected to spur Queensland’s resources sector, delivering cobalt, copper, scandium, nickel, vanadium, bauxite and alumina for batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels.
“It will also support the further development of Queensland’s resources sector while at the same time helping to deliver on our 50% renewable energy target by 2030,” said Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“By 2050, the world will be looking for more than 500 million tonnes of hydrogen every year, and we want to make sure Queenslanders get decent, secure jobs supplying it,” noted Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, who expects the fund to propel local manufacturing jobs in the renewables supply chain.
Queensland has so far seen the realisation of more than 40 large-scale wind and solar farms representing over 5,100 MW. It has also committed AUD 145 million to set up three renewable energy zones.