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Queensland launches renewable energy plan and solar atlas

Queensland’s Bligh Government has launched a new plan to further attract and boost investment in renewable energy in the state, a day after unveiling the Queensland Solar Atlas, a tool developed to identify the best areas for potential future solar farms.

The Renewable Energy Industry Development Plan(REIDP) consists of 23 initiatives the Bligh Government will undertake over two years to assist in the further development of Queensland’s renewable energy industry.

The REIDP will contribute to achieving the Queensland Renewable Energy Plan(QREP) and defines five key policy priorities; being innovation, renewable energy zones, jobs, regulatory reform and incentives.

Announcing the plan, Queensland’s Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the REIDP will help stimulate supply of clean energy for the state’s communities and generate green jobs for Queenslanders.

“With this plan we continue our efforts to work across government and in partnership with industry, research institutions and the Australian Government to develop Queensland’s renewable energy industry, generate green jobs and reduce emissions of greenhouse gas pollution,” he said.

On Wednesday, Minister Robertson  unveiled the Queensland Solar Atlas, an online tool designed to assist companies in identifying the best areas for potential future solar power generation projects.

Using data collected over a one year period, information has been mapped on 5km x 5km grids and shows average potential solar electric output in kilowatt hours per day. Queensland’s Solar Atlas is free to access and available through the Queensland Government’s Interactive Resource and Tenure Maps system.

“The Solar Atlas forms a key element of the Bligh Government’s strategy to make Queensland the solar state,” said Mr. Robertson.

Queensland’s aspirations to be Australia’s solar stronghold are by no means just wishful thinking on the Government’s part. Aside from various major solar farm projects, more than 107,000 Queensland solar homes are now beating rapidly rising electricity costs and taking advantage of the state’s 44c per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff.

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