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ABC News

Queensland government set to unveil major investments along with 10-year energy plan

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today unveil what she has called "one of the biggest announcements our government has ever made" including the state's energy plan for the next decade.

The government has been tight-lipped about the announcement and its plan – which has been in the works for almost a year – but it is expected to include infrastructure investments, particularly in regional Queensland.

The Premier tweeted this morning that Queensland will have 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032.

"We're taking real action on climate change, now," she said.

"Previously we announced a target of 50 per cent by 2030 — but today we're upping that target 70 per cent by 2032.

"I am launching the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan today. It's all about a future of cheaper, cleaner and secure energy for Queenslanders, powering good jobs in new regional industries."

It is not clear whether today's announcement would include a change to the formula used to calculate the target.

Queensland currently needs to increase renewable generation by 29 per cent in eight years to meet the target.

The announcement will follow two days of energy campaigning by the state government, including revealing a $776 million investment in what will be Australia's largest state-owned wind farm, in the South Burnett region.

"It's investments like this that will ensure we deliver on our net-zero ambitions and our promise to Queenslanders to become a global renewable energy superpower," Ms Palaszczuk said this week.

Queensland 'leads world' in rooftop solar

The government's also been celebrating Queensland's solar uptake spruiking data from Australia's Energy Market Operator showing last Monday (September 19) solar generation accounted for a quarter of all energy generated across Queensland – 38 gigawatt hours in one day or the equivalent of powering 2.4 million homes.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the 10-year energy plan would involve upgrading the state's renewable infrastructure "to allow us to have more renewable energy, to let more households put solar panels on their roofs, (to) grow renewables and at the same time grow jobs".

Energy Minister Mick De Brenni added that "Queensland not only leads the nation, but also the world in rooftop solar".

The Queensland Conservation Council's (QCC) Maggie McKeown said the release of a new 10-year plan was an opportunity to harness Queensland's solar appetite and invest in the regions.

"We're hoping to see big investment in todays' plan to connect big renewables and big storage to the grid," Ms McKeown said.

"Queenslanders have some of the highest rates of rooftop solar in the country.

"The government has the opportunity to match that community appetite by building the large-scale renewables."

Ms McKeown said the QCC was hoping for more publicly-owned renewable projects in the regions – like the recently announced windfarm.

"What we're hearing from regional Queensland is that industry has been leading in the conversation about renewable energy," she said.

"This is a great opportunity for the government to show that it has a plan to support regional Queensland.

"Anything that comes from the Queensland government that brings us closer to building the big renewable powered industries for the regions."

Supply for when the 'sun's not shining'

Currently about 21 per cent of Queensland's electricity generation comes from renewables.

The Queensland Resources Council represents commercial developers of minerals and energy.

Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said it was crucial the state's energy supply was reliable and affordable.

"The plan will also need to contend with the days when the sun's not shining and the wind's not blowing, so that every Queenslanders and our industries can be confident they have access to 24/7 reliable energy," he said.

"The resource sector fully supports the transition to a lower emissions future, and the pathway to lower emissions needs to be managed in an orderly and common sense way."

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