The Queensland Government has released a draft Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Bill 2023. It will be open for consultation until Friday 30 June. RE-Alliance strongly recommends that any and all interested individuals, community organisations and companies submit a response to the draft legislation. Without diverse views and experience provided through submissions, the legislation can’t be tailored to deliver the best outcomes possible.
With 22GW of generation and at least 6GW of long-duration storage required to meet Queensland’s renewable energy targets, existing legislative frameworks are no longer fit for purpose. This draft legislation is designed to address the social, economic and technical challenges of the energy transition.
We are currently putting our thoughts together on the draft legislation, which we will share once completed. In the meantime, here is a short summary of what the draft legislation includes.
The bill’s purpose is to increase renewable energy generation in Queensland and facilitate development of the transmission infrastructure needed to accommodate the proposed increases in renewable energy generation and storage.
As proposed, the draft bill:
Legislates renewable energy targets of 50% by 2030, 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035, these targets were first released as part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan in September 2022
Commits to public ownership targets of
- 100% of distribution and transmission infrastructure
- 100% of deep storage
- More than 50% of generation
Transmission infrastructure in Queensland is already 100% publicly owned through the Government Owned Corporations (GOC) Powerlink which owns and operates the high voltage network and the Energy Queensland group which owns and operates distribution, retail and energy services so in practical terms this is a business as usual scenario.
What is significant is the commitment to 100% ownership of deep storage (pumped hydro projects) and more than 50% of generation. This gives the Queensland Government far greater capacity than most other states to control cost factors for domestic and industrial energy supply.
There’s also capacity here for greater flexibility and sensitivity in response to localized social, economic and environmental impacts given the state is going to have fine scale, direct control of almost all power infrastructure in Queensland.
Legislates for the creation and management of three governance/advisory bodies:
- Queensland Energy System Advisory Board, providing technical advice on infrastructure development planning
- Energy Industry Council, advice and support in implementing the Queensland Energy Workers Charter
- Queensland Renewable Energy Jobs Advocate, providing advice and advocacy around renewable energy sector jobs
We support the creation of these three bodies to address the technical, social, economic and environmental impacts, risks and opportunities inherent in the transition to renewable energy. Of particular interest to RE-Alliance is the creation of the Energy Industry Council to support workers, families and communities as the energy sector is progressively decarbonised and the Renewable Energy Jobs Advocate with the goal of maximizing employment and economic opportunities in the sector. We look forward to engaging with these bodies to advocate on behalf of regional communities in Queensland.
- Legislates commitments to job security and job security guarantee funding for energy workers affected by the energy transition.
RE-Alliance sees this as an essential step in securing fair, equitable and long lasting benefits for regional communities who face the greatest challenges as the energy sector moves to decarbonise.
Sets frameworks for:
- Managing and updating the Queensland SuperGrid Infrastructure Blueprint
- Prioritising transmission planning and investment
- Coordinating and managing Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (REZ)
- Identification and management
- Designating REZ delivery bodies
- Contents of management plans
- Community consultation
- Cost recovery for REZ transmission networks
Amending the existing Electricity Act 1994 to enable grid supporting technologies (synchronous condensers and batteries)
RE-Alliance will address these in a follow up blog where we will talk about our submission in response to the draft legislation in greater detail.
We would encourage all interested parties to submit their comments, critiques and questions on the draft bill to the Department of Energy and Public Works, prior to 30 June.