TJ Ryan Foundation Board member, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (22.11.17) that in the upcoming Queensland election all major parties are talking up public investment in energy generation – but are these policies paying heed to climate science?
‘One of the most striking features of the Queensland election campaign is that all major parties are advocating public investment in electricity generation.
‘The real choice to be made is whether this investment will promote the goal of a decarbonised energy system, or whether it will seek to delay this transition and prolong Australia’s reliance on coal-fired electricity.
‘This choice, in turn, depends on attitudes to mainstream climate science. If the findings of mainstream science are accepted, a complete phase-out of coal-fired power, and its replacement by renewables, must take place over the next couple of decades. This implies a target of 50% renewables by around 2030.
‘The Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Panel modelled the achievement of a 50% renewables share for Queensland. The Expert Panel identified economic benefits of a renewable investment program including an average gain of 6,400 jobs.
‘Queensland has retained publicly owned electricity generators, primarily focused on coal-fired power. It would make sense for the public to diversify more into renewables.’