Qld renewable progress unclear: auditor

·2-min read

The Queensland government has been urged to review its 2030 renewable energy target within three years by the state's auditor-general.

Brendan Worrall's report on the Palaszczuk government's goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 says it lacks clear vision, objectives and details.

The auditor-general's report says it's hard to pinpoint how much progress has been made, with evidence it might be slower than the government has reported.

Mr Worrall has called for a review of the transition plan by 2025 to ensure progress is being made.

"We recommend the Department of Energy and Public Works conducts an interim review by 2025 to formally assess its progress towards the target and to consider further actions to support its achievement of the target," he wrote in the report tabled in parliament on Thursday.

"These could include additional investment on network infrastructure, increased support for renewable generators or other actions to address external factors."

The auditor-general is particularly concerned that the 2020/21 state budget said 20 per cent of Queensland's energy was generated by renewables, when it was actually about 19 per cent.

The report said the government omitted some non-renewable energy, left energy generated by small-scale facilities out and assumed all bioenergy generators achieved the same output as the largest.

"We re-calculated performance against the target and found Queensland's progress was around 19 per cent," Mr Worrall wrote.

"This is an important difference as each percentage point change in the level of renewable energy translates into a sizeable change in Queensland's energy system."

The report said the government should also provide much more detail about the renewable energy generated from wind, solar and other sources, as well as the assumptions underpinning its forecasts.

Part of the problem, the report said, was that the transition plan announced by then Energy Minister Mick de Brenni last year lacked a clear vision or objectives.

Mr Worral wrote that the plan didn't explain how the renewable energy target would be calculated either, making it hard for progress to be measured.

The auditor-general recommended the department communicates its overall vision and objectives, as well as publishing a detailed statement on how the target is defined and measured.

Mr Worrall noted the Palaszczuk government's $145 million pledge for new renewable energy zones, but he said that further transmission power network improvements were "likely to be needed to maximise renewable generation".

The report said the government's $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund would likely encourage the private sector to contribute to the 2030 target.

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