Redland Moves to Meet the Challenge

As experts, politicians, and the community frown, meet, report, procrastinate on a CLEAN ENERGY future… Redland city is providing a model for others around the nation to follow.

biomass-energyRedland city looks set to become the first Queensland region in the State to fully align a green energy planning approach with the Palaszcuzuk Governments’ Energy Expert Panel’s vision.

It’s also an approach that sits well with the Federal Governments’ commitments and focus.

With the announcement last week that Council will investigate the creation of a “solar farm” for its own energy needs and with the advancement of the Mount Cotton Green Energy Biomass power plant, Redlands is now well positioned for both layers of government to look favorably towards its green energy credentials.

It will be the first area in the state to move towards ticking the boxes deemed vital by the State’s Energy Expert Panel for renewable energy targets to be met.

The Palaszcuzuk Governments’ Energy Expert Panel report tabled this month lists 18 key energy sources necessary for renewable energy targets to be met.

ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) agrees and is now actively funding such sources.

Solar, wind, biomass and hydro sources sit in the list as big ticket items.

renewable-energy-mix-2But The Energy Expert Panel believes that the 18 credible clean energy sources need to work in sync for continuity of supply, target realization and affordability.

34% of the sources listed as viable are biomass or ag waste based.

ARENA agrees.

The Expert Energy Panel Report identified and highlighted to need for a wide reaching approach.

“A core objective of the Panel’s review is to determine how the adoption of a renewable energy target and other complementary policies can drive the development of the state’s renewable energy economy. On this basis, when considering which renewable energy resources should be eligible to contribute to a Queensland renewable energy target, the Panel holds the principle of allowing for a broad range of renewable energy sources “

This week also brings us the State run Summit where industry leaders will discuss the business opportunities of transitioning to a low carbon economy.

At the summit, Environment Minister, Dr Miles will be calling on Queenslanders to have their say on new directions for adapting to climate change.

And while they do just that they do so mindful that the ‘sexy’ big ticket needs such as solar and wind have massive needs themselves-For the necessary back up.biomass-to-energy-plant

That is where those other 15 sources or 24 hour/7 day a week base load sources that do not rely just on the weather on any one day to come into play as a vital key to the clean energy mix.

The Expert Report also reminds us that Biomass is and has been an advancing technology for Queensland.

“Renewable energy has typically contributed a small, but growing, amount of electricity generation in Queensland. Large scale renewables (mainly comprised of biomass and hydro) have contributed around 3% to Queensland’s generation output over the last decade.”

So it’s about taking the big ticket high profile sources such as wind and solar and looking to the globally proven methods such as biomass to ensure we don’t have a South Australia.

Germany is working towards 2/3’s of its renewable energy by 2020 being from biomass sources for this exact reason.

California in the USA is moving in a similar direction.

Whether you agree with the State’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030 or the Federal Government’s target of 30% renewable by 2020, there remains a real commitment on the part of communities globally to now begin to change the way we look at energy generation and consumption for a future world.

The Redland City Council Move to investigate a solar farm approach is highly commendable and a big part of the role cities like Redland must now step up to.

A whole of community approach is required and as the Energy Expert Panel put it,

“Private sector should be encouraged to contract and build renewable energy wherever possible”.

The Energy Expert Panel Maps the 2020 Pathway…And that tells the story.