Qld’s renewable energy expert panel draft report shows flexible approach to policy, emerging technology and action on climate change

Solar panels and wind turbines

13 October 2016 - The Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Panel has this week (12 October, 2016) released its draft report on credible pathways to achieving a 50% renewable energy target for Queensland by 2030, and the approach taken highlights how it is possible to manage rapid change by adopting flexible pathway options, according to Victor Young, Aurecon’s Client Director for Energy.

“The draft report rightly reinforces the need for state and federal renewable energy targets to be synchronised to support Australia’s international commitments for reducing emissions and helping control climate change,” he says.

“At the same time it provides a flexible platform which will be relevant over the long term and enables Queensland to capitalise on rapidly emerging technologies and new business models.”

For example, the report offers the option of a ramped approach to investment to allow for the potential impact of technological advancements. “For Queensland to develop a successful pathway towards 50% renewable energy generation and attract greater investment by 2030, tariff and regulatory reform go hand in hand with a focus on technology,” he says.

“It is important for Queensland to create a stable investment environment for domestic and international investors and the transition of the energy system in an efficient and cost-effective manner. A simplified compliance and administrative approach would help energy companies more effectively deliver to customers across Australia.

“It is pleasing to see the panel’s modelling reflect a net neutral effect on consumer pricing, and to identify opportunities to selectively target reverse auctions which put downward pressure on prices, as well as focusing on technologies that can be deployed to prioritise network stability, energy security and edge of grid opportunities benefiting regional Queenslanders.

“A 50% renewable target should take into account the momentous potential for technological change in global energy markets, such as the advent of low cost solar, ever cheaper large scale storage and, in the transport sector, the influence on consumption through the introduction of things like electric vehicles.”

Victor Young says that as part of Aurecon’s submission to the Expert Panel during the initial consultation phase, Aurecon highlighted the need to place consumers at the centre of the equation as well as the need to take advantage of emerging digital technologies still being developed within the energy infrastructure industry.

“The consumer must be the central focus, not just at the end of a long transmission wire,“ he says.

“The world’s electricity markets are transforming rapidly which in turn requires a level of flexibility that is provided in the Queensland report. This flexible approach will benefit the energy industry,” he says.

“Navigating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, from centralised to distributed generation and from supply-led to demand-driven provides an exciting and challenging future that requires this flexible approach,” says Victor Young.

For further information

  • See more about the “Credible Pathways to a 50% Renewable Energy Target” draft report here.
  • See Aurecon's submission to the Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Panel here.
  • Learn more about Aurecon’s Energy capability here.

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