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Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can’t run without big subsidies — so big they have to be kept secret

Solar is so competitive that the Queensland government has to pour in money to keep solar developers from running away.

How much money? Who knows. Whatever it is, it’s so big, the government has to keep it a secret.

Queensland taxpayers kept in dark as they prop up solar firms

The Queensland government is concealing its financial support for large-scale renewable energy projects, guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies that do not ­appear on balance sheets.

With an expert panel previously finding the government would need to spend between $500 million and $900m in subsidies to meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, there are now calls for spending to be made public.

The government has struck four deals with major solar-farm developers, under “contracts for difference”, with floor prices nominated for the sale of their ­energy in order to attract finance. When the market price falls below that threshold, the government has to make up the difference.

Luckily for Queensland taxpayers — who don’t know how to spot a good investment or the energy source of the future — the Government can spend their money for them. The Palaszuczuk government has hammered out such a good deal for Queenslanders that it can’t tell them what it is. Try to figure out a situation where the Taxpayers are winning, but the government doesn’t want to say so.

Two of the four lucky subsidy farms have capacities of 50MW and 15MW which will make a big difference to the states 14,000MW generation capacity. These two solar farms are expensive but token to the point of being nearly imaginary. As commenter Terrence says:

“Yesterday at 9 am Queensland was generating 7,000 MW from fossil fuels/hydro and 80 MW from windmills and solar panels which is typical of Qld’s power mix over the last couple of months.

…These [50 and 15MW] capacities are nameplate ratings only if they run 24/7/365, …. The real ratings of these two baby power projects is more like 12.5 MW and 3.75 MW respectively which are definitely not large scale. “

Queensland has quite a lot of coal, oil and gas, so the Queensland govt has decided to use…  something else. The state is aiming for a miraculous 50% renewables. Ponder the brave task ahead. To be 50% renewable, Queensland needs to generate more like 3,500MW on average with the unreliables, and that’s after capacity factors are taken into account.


Secret subsidies paid underhand,
By the government of sunny Queensland,
To give solar capacity,
An unearned veracity,
Which their climate-change masters demand.


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