Queensland’s solar capacity to rival coal by 2030

Author: Darvin Tocmo  Date Posted:4 November 2016 

Solar capacity in Queensland can go over 10GW by 2030. It will compete with coal as the state’s biggest single source of electricity.

Solar capacity in Queensland can go over 10GW by 2030. It will compete with coal as the state’s biggest single source of electricity.

Queensland: More than 10 GW of Solar By 2030

By 2030, solar will rival coal in its bid for Queensland’s biggest single source of electricity. This will help the state achieve its 50 per cent renewable energy target.

This was one of the highlights of the panel’s draft report on renewable energy target. Principal scenarios include Queensland’s 4,900MW of rooftop solar and 5,200MW of large-scale solar PV by 2030.

The 10GW total solar capacity is just one of the interesting scenarios outlined by the panel. It is a huge increase from the current 1,500MW of rooftop solar.

The future of solar in Queensland

As mentioned, Queensland has a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030. It translates to about 30,000GWh of electricity. Of this, solar will comprise most of the required 14,100MW capacity.

Solar thermal technologies, like solar towers with storage, are not yet even part of this estimate. According to panel members, this is a possibility if these technologies would become more affordable.

Battery storage is another thing to watch out for. The assumptions for rooftop solar could change drastically. It's a huge possibility if the costs of battery storage will decrease faster than anticipated.

Commercial and industrial solar

The panel sees a lot of potential in commercial and industrial solar market. They also predict more government buildings will switch to solar.

Changes in voltage regulation will happen because of the need to conform to global standards. This can mean greater uptake of rooftop solar on the grid. As a consequence, it could minimize supply problems in congested locations.

For large-scale solar, though, moderate growth will happen at least in the short term. Wind will dominate in the next five years. Between now and 2020, the large-scale solar installation will only be around 500W. This already includes the 245MW project partially funded by ARENA.

One thing’s for sure – solar will thrive and challenge coal as an energy source. It will satisfy one-third of all the state’s electricity demand. Rooftop solar will produce 12 per cent while large-scale solar will shoulder 20 per cent.