Australian Renewable Power – Queensland State Government Aims For 50 Percent By 2030

Posted on Thu 06/02/2016 by


RenewablePowerHere in Australia, the Queensland State Government has set up an Expert Panel Inquiry to investigate pathways to achieving a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

This is the website they have set up for the public to keep them informed and where the public can also contribute.

Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Panel

I live here in Queensland, in Rockhampton, a city which is 640 Kilometres (400 Miles) to the North of the State Capital Brisbane, so this Inquiry is in my own back yard.

For more than eight years now I have been writing about how Renewable power cannot be used to replace those methods of generating power, and here this means large scale coal fired power, which provides, of most importance, a reliable source of electrical power, which is available on a constant basis, something which renewable power just cannot do.

The Panel is calling for Submissions from the public, so what better way for me to contribute than to make a Submission to that Panel.

I spent some time compiling a Submission and then sent it to the Panel in mid May, and Submissions close on June 10th.

The Panel will be holding public meetings and they are Invitation only events in cities around the State of Queensland.

While the Panel has called for Submissions from the public, those Submissions will not be made public until after the Panel releases it’s interim report in late August or September.

Having made the Submission, it seems curious, for me, anyway, that those Submissions will not be made available for the public to see until after the interim report is delivered. I asked a representative of the Panel if I was allowed to make my Submission available for anyone to read in the interim, and they said that would be okay, as it was my own Submission.

I can do this by posting it at our home site here, and then informing my friends of its availability here

My Submission is at the following link, and this is a 15 page pdf document.


In that Submission, Page 1 is some personal information about me, Page 2 is a Summary of the Submission, and the remaining 13 pages are the Submission itself.

Now, while it may seem long and involved, I had to build the argument from the ground up, trying to cover as many bases as possible to explain how something like this would be problematic at best, and impossible at worst.

One of the most important aspects of this whole thing is shown in the following image, which is a breakdown of the power generation here in the State of Queensland. (if you click n the image, it will open in a new and larger window)


Note here on the right hand bar graph, (Generation output) coal fired power currently supplies 73% of Queensland’s total power, and when combined with other fossil fuelled sources, here mainly Natural gas Fired Power, that total is 93% of all generated electrical power.

So, if this target of 50% renewable power is to be achieved, then that fossil fuelled source needs to be reduced to 50%, and as coal fired power is the aimed for target here, then that means a reduction in that coal fired sector from 73% to 30%. So here the aim is to find renewable replacements for that 43%, almost half of all Queensland’s power generation.

In my Submission, I explain just how difficult this would be, and to achieve a mix of those renewable power plants, wind Power, Solar PV, and Concentrating Solar Power, also referred to as Solar Thermal Power, I explain how 67 of these renewable power plants would have to be built, in the required time frame, between now and 2030. That’s having them planned, financed, constructed, and delivering power by 2030. All of that to replace the closure of just 5 large scale coal fired power plants.

I urge you to take take the time and read my Submission to see how difficult it would be to implement what might seem on the surface to be a target which might be readily achieved, but in fact is close to impossible to actually achieve.

In the U.S. the total power generated from coal fired power is currently only 35%, for the sake of comparison, but in the U.S. they have large scale Nuclear Power, which we do not have here in Australia, and is not likely in the near or even middle future. Those large scale Nuclear plants provide the same huge amounts of regular stable and constant power provided by large scale coal fired power. When you add Nuclear power (19.5%) to coal fired power (35%)  and then add in other Fossil Fuelled sources (nearly all of it Natural gas fired power) which supply 34%, then the similar total for the U.S. comes in at almost 85.5%, which is almost on par with Queensland. (93%)

While my Submission is long, I urge you all to read it, and see how something like this may be almost impossible to achieve.