North Queensland can deliver another State of Origin win – Blues to lose on renewables
North Queensland can ensure another State of Origin victory over New South Wales in an interstate challenge to create more jobs, attract more investment and deliver more affordable energy through a wave of renewable energy projects.
Townsville Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Claudia Brumme-Smith said the New South Wales Government commitment of $1.2 billion over 10 years to connect $14 billion and create 2700 construction jobs was dwarfed by the CopperString transmission network to connect North West Queensland and the national grid near Townsville.
“North and North West Queensland has the ingredients for a stronger, more resilient economy. There is almost $50 billion in renewable energy project investment identified across the region over the next 20 years,” she said.
“We have more than 35,000 megawatts of wind and solar resource to be harnessed above ground and more than $700 billion of identified reserves of copper and critical minerals needed for advanced manufacturing and clean energy under it.”
“For the Prime Minister’s ambition for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower, he can rely on the North. While the NSW Government has recognised the importance of new transmission infrastructure, the investment in transmission infrastructure in North West can connect more renewable energy and connect it sooner.”
The Clean Energy Council has reported Queensland had 19.6% renewable energy penetration compared to 26% in New South Wales, and 12,582 gigawatt hours (GWh) were generated in Queensland compared to 17,829GWh in NSW last year. (See link https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/resources/resources-hub/clean-energy-australia-report)
“NSW may have a lead, but Queensland can emerge victorious once again,” she said.
“Key investments including the CopperString connection to the national electricity grid (the National Electricity Market) are essential for the security, affordability and sustainability that is under so much pressure now.”
“CopperString is shovel ready and we need to get construction underway this year.”
“We can help the Queensland Government meet and beat its 2030 target of 50% renewable energy.”
Mrs Brumme-Smith said the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments had recognised the importance of renewable energy and critical minerals, and the potential for hydrogen as a new job-creating, revenue-generating industry for Queensland.
CopperString proponent, CuString is planning to commence construction in late 2022.
CuString has been working with the Queensland Government over the past three years, signing an Implementation Agreement in October 2020, on the project and are looking forward to finalisation of the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement for the North West process.
CopperString 2.0 is very advanced in the government approvals process - EIS has been accepted as final by the Queensland Coordinator General and awaiting final State Government approval and Federal Government.