State and territory governments are leading the charge on the renewables transition while the Commonwealth is falling short. Latest news in the sector is the Queensland government’s launch of the state’s new publicly owned renewable energy generator last week.
The government-owned CleanCo is expected to bring down electricity prices and save households around $70 a year, deputy premier Jackie Trad claimed.
“While other states have struggled with the impact of privatisation and the Liberal National Party in Canberra have knifed a prime minister to stop any moves to address climate change, Queensland is getting on with the job of serious electricity market reform,” Ms Trad said.
“CleanCo will have a strategic portfolio of low and no emission power generation assets, and will build, construct, own and maintain renewable energy generation.
According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, CleanCo is part of the state’s plan to “maintain majority ownership of generation assets as we transition to 50 per cent renewable energy to deliver secure and affordable energy”.
“Renewable energy is a critical part of Queensland’s future which is why we are making an initial injection of $250 million to progress the development of new, public renewable energy generation assets,” she said.
Adding a third generator to increase competition in QLD’s electricity market was recommended in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s report into the electricity sector.
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CleanCo is expected to be trading on the National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2019.
The QLD government is also setting up a group to ensure that the energy transition is fair for workers and communities.
“At a national level we have seen nothing but incompetence and chaos, with a government that is asleep at the wheel with no plans for workers or communities. We won’t let that happen in Queensland,” minister for employment Shannon Fentiman said.
Low-carbon energy projects are also a key component of the Victorian Andrews government’s
sustainability-focused election platform.
Recent announcements have ranged from microgrids for the Latrobe Valley, community energy hubs in regional cities, and urban microgrid trials and support for residential solar.