Somerset already hosts a number of energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam.
Somerset already hosts a number of energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam. Contributed

EMPLOYMENT BOOM: 14,000 jobs to be created by 22 projects

CLOSE to 14,000 jobs could be generated in the Darling Downs-Condamine region this year, pending the approval of a number of large-scale renewable energy projects.

In Queensland 108 proposals currently in the pipeline are worth $36 billion and would generate enough electricity to cover 92 per cent of the state's electricity usage and provide thousands of job opportunities for regional Queenslanders, an analysis by Green Energy Markets revealed.

In the Darling Downs, 22 proposed renewable energy projects would create the following:

• Over 6.2GW of proposed capacity (enough energy to power 1,860,000 homes)

• 12,182,151 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide savings (emissions can be compared to the entire aviation sector - 8.9 Mt)

• Close to 14,000 construction jobs

• 630 operational jobs

• $9,552,200,000 worth of investment

Solar Citizens national director Ellen Roberts said while the proposed projects would create thousands of important employment opportunities, the resource sector was still facing some obstacles.

Energy policy is one of those obstacles.

"New renewable projects are facing mountains of hurdles and developers are saying to us, 'we're looking down south,' because the incentives are just not here to bring the projects to Queensland," Ms Roberts said.

"For Queenslanders to get a bigger slice of the jobs and investment pie, we need the federal and state governments to step up and remove some of the barriers stopping new projects from getting off the ground.

"Energy policy uncertainty, transmission issues and grid restraints are killing renewable investment in Queensland, and therefore, killing the potential for new renewable jobs.

"The projects in the pipeline now could be just the beginning. Queensland can have a bright economic future using cheap renewable energy resources to power advanced manufacturing and create a new export industry."


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