Once again, Queensland is being challenged to translate its natural resources advantage into a new era of sustainable, long-term prosperity.

Just as Queenslanders did with the timely discovery of gold at Gympie in 1867 that rescued the young state from bankruptcy, we are seeing opportunities to create another “eureka” moment as the world moves with increasing momentum towards a low-carbon future.

Renewable energy development in Queensland has gone from pipe dream to investment pipeline in a remarkably short time, accelerated by increasing concern over the impacts of climate change and a growing awareness of the Sunshine State’s capability to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

Capitalising on Queensland’s abundant sunshine, wind and monsoonal rainfall and matching them with proven technology such as pumped hydro “batteries” adds a game-changing new dimension to the ability of renewable technology to power the state’s homes and industries around the clock.

The bedrock of the state’s prosperity and progress over more than 160 years has been industry coexistence, especially in regional Queensland. Working together, primary industries and their supporting communities have proved time and again that innovation and agility are keys to success.

It is no accident of design that Queensland’s major primary industries – grazing, cropping and mining – feature prominently on the state’s Coat of Arms. They are proven winners and being invited once again to help inspire and shape the future.

Queensland Renewable Energy Council (QREC) is a not-for-profit body representing large-scale renewable energy developers, investors and supporters.

We are Australia’s first state-based, multi-sector renewable energy industry association, representing wind, solar, hydro and hydrogen projects.

We came together in response to the Queensland Government’s Energy and Jobs Plan – a key policy document that commits the State to a 70 per cent renewable energy target by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035. This is a foundation for increased certainty of investment for an expanding renewable energy industry.

The Federal Government has also announced a five-fold expansion of its Capacity Investment Scheme to minimise investor risk supporting renewable generation and storage.

The State Government’s $62 billion Energy and Jobs Plan includes unprecedented investment in North Queensland incorporating the new CopperString transmission infrastructure.

In parts of Queensland, renewable energy projects have blossomed swiftly, reinforcing the need to have appropriate frameworks in place to support the industry and the communities in which they operate.

Industry learned some hard lessons from the rapid rise of the export gas industry early this century, and in particular, the importance of understanding and responding to the impacts of change on local communities. Our Council’s view is that an agreed way forward is best delivered by:

  • increasing industry collaboration
  • addressing local industry challenges professionally and transparently, and
  • driving an active Queensland policy agenda with the community at its heart.

QREC is committed to working collaboratively with members, governments, key stakeholders, kindred organisations, regional partners and communities to deliver certainty and long-term sustainability to the large-scale renewable energy industry in Queensland.

Regionally focused, our advocacy reflects leading practice for sustainable and responsible development that communities expect and deserve. The renewable energy industry will play an important role in diversifying the Queensland economy and delivering additional jobs in the regions, as well as providing an income stream to landholders and wider regional communities.

QREC is playing an active, collaborative role in developing leading practice regulatory reforms and industry standards as it works towards meeting Queensland’s Renewable Energy Targets.

Our goal is to ensure Queensland’s renewable energy industry develops in a sustainable and responsible way based on effective industry standards and governance supported by productive partnerships.