The security of Queensland’s power supply won’t be undermined by a government target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, Energy Minister Mark Bailey says.
The state government on Wednesday released a draft independent report on how to achieve the target, with authors insisting it would also be “broadly cost-neutral” to consumers.
The state’s current renewable energy level is about seven per cent.
“I reject assertions that this is unrealistic,” Mr Bailey said.
“It is absolutely achievable and realistic.
Engineer and investment banker Colin Mugglestone, who chaired the panel that produced the report, said the impact on consumers would be mitigated by lower wholesale prices driven by renewables coming into the system.
“There may be changes on a year-on-year basis, but the modelling we’ve assumed is, over the period, on-average broadly cost-neutral,” he said.
The draft report identified three slightly varied pathways to arrive at the target and Mr Bailey said two of those did not involve any power station closures.
The target has been criticised after South Australia’s mass outage, which was used in some political quarters as an argument against renewable energy.
Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan gave a blunt assessment of the target as “certifiable mad” and said it could put Queensland at risk of crippling outages like those in South Australia.
But Mr Mugglestone said modelling acknowledged the sunshine state had a more diverse generation mix compared to the South Australian market.
Mr Bailey also placed his confidence in the Queensland system.
“(The report) found that Queensland can meet a 50 per cent renewable energy target while maintaining electricity security and reliability over the next 14 years,” he said.
The government has also sought to highlight other economic benefits including to clean energy investment and jobs, particularly in regional areas.