While Australia remains heavily reliant on fossil fuel revenues, the government has announced a series of ambitious climate pledges.
In 2022, the government announced a goal to generate 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2035. The company also expects to wean itself off its reliance on coal generation by this time. Australia wants to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In September 2022, the Australian government announced the infrastructure blueprint for Queensland's super grid, which aims to promote the decarbonization of the state's power system.
The government aims to invest heavily in wind, solar and pumped hydropower projects, all of which will be connected to a "supergrid" of new renewables, storage and transmission lines by 2035. Around 22 GW of new solar and wind capacity are expected to be added by 2035, an increase from the current mix of 16 GW of fossil fuel and renewable capacity. The government will consult with local communities, hold expert group meetings and conduct a series of assessments of potential projects to ensure support from Queenslanders.
Queensland Energy, Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said it would be the largest economic transformation project ever undertaken in the state.
The project is expected to boost employment in the region on a large scale, adding significant amounts of renewable energy to Australia, as well as construction and other related jobs. This is in line with the global trend in the direction of jobs in renewable energy, which will add 700,000 new jobs worldwide in 2021. While there are fears of a recession in the energy job market, the green energy sector is expected to add more jobs in the coming decades due to the green transition of the fossil fuel industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dave Copeman, director of the Queensland Conservation Council, said it was "critical that traditional owners and communities design their own energy futures and protect our biodiversity and rich cultural heritage." Local Government Association Queensland chief executive Alison Smith said there would be no question they would get their fair share of the economic and social benefits of these mega-projects.
If all goes well, the Queensland Supergrid could provide a blueprint for other states and countries to follow. The ambitious project is expected to boost Australia's energy transition away from its heavy reliance on coal and create thousands of new jobs in the region. The Supergrid will also make a significant contribution to Australia's carbon reduction targets and its overall green transition.