Department of Energy and Water Supply

A solar future: powering Queensland’s renewable energy industries

We are actively growing the renewable energy sector in Queensland – creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We’ve implemented a comprehensive package of initiatives to support the sustainable growth of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Queensland.

One million rooftops

We have set a target for one million rooftops or 3,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaics in Queensland by 2020. This will help lower electricity costs for families and businesses, create jobs and protect the environment.

With over 425,000 households already connected to solar, Queensland has the highest number of installations in Australia. This number continues to grow as solar PV is cheaper than grid-supplied electricity in many cases.

Our solar target will help Queensland grow solar PV on businesses, community buildings and even large commercial or industrial sites.

One million rooftops initiatives include:

  • a fair price for solar
  • Queensland’s statutory voltage limit review
  • Advancing Clean Energy Schools program
  • solar for public housing trial
  • Solar 150 program.

A fair price for solar

The Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) has completed its public review into a fair price for small scale solar energy exported to the electricity grid.

We have provided our response to the final report and QPC recommendations (PDF, 3.0MB). As a result of this review, we will be making some changes to the regional feed-in tariff and monitoring arrangements in South East Queensland:

  • Time varying FiT
  • Expanding regional feed-in tariff eligibility
    • We are expanding eligibility to allow systems up to 30 kilowatts in size.
  • Monitoring feed-in tariffs in South East Queensland
    • The existing arrangements will stay in place, but will be monitored by the QCA to ensure offers remain fair for customers.

Queensland’s statutory voltage limit review

We have started a review to investigate the costs and benefits of changing Queensland’s statutory voltage limits. This review will consider if aligning the current requirements set out in the Electricity Regulation 2006 (240 volts +/-6%) with Australian and international best practice (230 volts +10%/-6%) will:

  • allow more efficient management of voltage issues caused by the high penetration of solar PV
  • support greater levels of renewable generation on Queensland’s electricity networks without adding to network costs.

Advancing Clean Energy Schools

We are looking for opportunities to use solar PV on government-owned facilities to reduce our energy costs and to demonstrate our leadership in renewable and clean energy technology.

The Advancing Clean Energy Schools program will sound the market for innovative ways to use solar and energy efficiency to reduce energy costs across Queensland state schools.

We are working with the Department of Education and Training and Queensland Treasury to deliver the market sounding process. Commencing 3 April 2017, the market sounding will seek industry advice on funding options, technology solutions, procurement approaches and delivery models, with the outcomes of the process informing future investment in school energy efficiency measures.

Industry organisations who are interested in participating in the market sounding can obtain further information from the industry briefing video and on the QTenders website.

For further information, email ACES.marketsounding@det.qld.gov.au.

Solar for public housing trial

Public housing tenants face multiple barriers to accessing solar due to high upfront costs and short-term tenancies. From mid-2017, a first-of-its kind trial will be conducted to overcome these barriers and deliver electricity savings to some of the community’s most vulnerable electricity customers. The solar for public housing trial will deliver up to 6 megawatts of solar, on up to 4,000 government-owned, detached houses.

Solar 150: large-scale solar investment

We have also committed to supporting up to 150 megawatts of solar generation to encourage large-scale solar generation and investment in Queensland.

The Solar 150 initiative, in collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will help support the development of local, large-scale solar projects. This will provide a long-term revenue contract to successful Queensland bidders.

The future of solar

It will not be long before Queenslanders can choose to install battery storage systems to capture and use excess solar power. Battery storage technology is improving and costs are reducing rapidly worldwide, just as solar PV costs have reduced over the last seven years. With solar PV and battery storage you will be able to generate your own solar power during the day and then store it to use at night, or to use if you need back-up power during extreme weather events. You will still be able sell clean solar energy back into the grid exactly when it is needed, helping to keep power costs lower for everyone.

Get involved

There are so many different ways to access solar power, and many of them don't require money upfront. Solar power purchase agreements, solar leasing, and other financing options mean you don't need a big deposit to benefit from solar power.

The Clean Energy Council publishes a handy guide on how to get started with your solar installation.

Last updated:
2 June 2017
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