Queensland budget to gift a record $26 billion to accelerate energy transition

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The Queensland government plans to deliver a record $26 billion (USD 17 billion) investment in its Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan over the next four years, starting with an $8.6 billion spend in the 2024/2025 financial year.

Funded through the state’s coal royalties’ scheme, allocations will include $16.5 billion towards renewable energy and storage projects and $8.5 billion to build the SuperGrid, including the 1,100 km, $5 billion Copperstring transmission line from Townsville to Mount Isa, and the state’s renewable energy zones.

A further $500 million will be spent on network batteries and support of local grid solutions and $192 million for the SuperGrid Transmission and Training Hubs in Townsville and Gladstone.

Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni said the state’s traditional industries will be protected through decarbonisation and new industries that serve a decarbonising global economy can be created for sectors like critical minerals, hydrogen, and sustainable aviation fuel.

“Decarbonising our energy system is the greatest climate, economic, and jobs opportunity in a generation. This record investment will ensure Queensland can power ahead towards a cleaner, greener future,” he said.

The investment in Queensland’s renewable energy transition is up $7 billon from the 2023 budget and will support the state in achieving its landmark 75% by 2035 emissions reduction target and 80% renewable energy by 2035 target, which are both enshrined in law.

The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan was launched in 2022 to roadmap the build of a clean and competitive energy system, deliver affordable energy, support more rooftop solar and batteries, and drive better outcomes for workers and communities as partners in the energy transition.

$8.5 billion is to be allocated by the Queensland 2024 state budget, to the build of Copperstring 2032.

Image: Powerlink

Climate Council Head of Policy and Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said Queensland is showing the kind of leadership Australia needs to power communities with cleaner, cheaper energy and continue cutting climate pollution.

“A bigger, cleaner grid is the foundation for clean manufacturing, critical minerals mining and other emerging industries across Queensland, so this investment will help unlock more jobs in the regions and right across the state,” she said.

“In this make-or-break decade to slash climate pollution, we need to see all governments accelerating delivery of a bigger, cleaner grid and more zero emissions industries. Queensland has just pulled ahead in the states’ race to the top on climate action; let’s see other jurisdictions stepping up to meet and beat it.”

Deloitte Access Economics modelling has identified that without progressing energy transition by 2050 Queensland would miss out on 145,000 more jobs and $430 billion in economic opportunity, with 85% of those jobs in new job creating industries in critical minerals, advanced manufacturing, hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.

The state budget will be delivered on 10 June, 2024.

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