Queensland celebrates milestone – 4GW of solar

Queensland’s Labor government says it is on track to meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, thanks largely to a booming solar market that last week celebrated notching up 4GW of capacity in the state.

The solar milestone was officially announced by energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham, despite data on both small and large-scale installations in the state suggesting the 4GW mark was passed some months ago.

Whatever the timing, the numbers mean – as Lynham himself pointed out – that the state’s grid now boasts an installed solar capacity more than twice that of the state’s biggest power station, the Gladstone coal generator.

“More than 560,000 Queensland roofs now sport solar systems and 30 solar farms are now generating across the state,” the minister said in a statement issued over the weekend.”Queenslanders are embracing solar energy because they know that solar reduces power bills and carbon emissions.”

In terms of total renewables contribution to the grid, Queensland is currently at around 13 per cent, but it is expected to get close to 20 per cent, if not reach it by the end of 2020, with the help of the Cooper’s Gap wind farm and more solar.

Lynham also highlighted the success of the state government’s Affordable Energy Plan, which has so far provided loans and grants to help almost 2,500 households and small businesses install a battery system, with a further 1,500 approved to do so before the program ends mid next year.