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Huge boost for renewable energy in Queensland.



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27 August 2001 01/389

HUGE BOOST FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN QUEENSLAND

Households, communities and businesses in off-grid areas of Queensland are being helped to move to renewable energy, thanks to the commitment of $22.3 million in Commonwealth funding.

Announcing the move at the Electricity Supply Association Australia’s 7th Renewables and Sustainable Power Conference in Cairns, the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch MP said the Commonwealth Government had approved Queensland's Renewable Energy Diesel Replacement Scheme under the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program.

“Remote Queensland Aboriginal communities will be eligible to benefit from this program, as will the residents of homes not connected to an electricity grid,” Mr Entsch said.

The funding would also extend to farmers, roadhouses, caravan parks, private tourist facilities and mining companies, among others, that relied on diesel generators for electricity supply.

“The funds will be used to provide half of the initial capital cost of renewable generating technologies installed in remote parts of Queensland,” Mr Entsch added.

“In particular, up to $500 000 a year has been allocated for renewable energy water pumping systems.

“Through these programs, remote households, communities and businesses in Queensland will cut their reliance on diesel fuel and move towards clean, renewable energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“For some households, using photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, inverters and batteries will make access to 24-hour power affordable for the first time.

“Power for things most of us take for granted such as refrigeration, lighting and communications will improve the quality of life in many remote parts of Queensland.

“The Scheme is expected to cut diesel use by more than four and a half million litres a year which will save about 250,000 tonnes of greenhouse over the expected life of the renewable energy systems”.

The Renewable Remote Power Generation Program is managed by the Australian Greenhouse Office and will provide up to $264 million in funding to reduce reliance on diesel-based electricity generation through installation of renewable energy generation technologies. The program is being developed through a cooperative approach between the Commonwealth and the States and is administered by the State energy agencies within each jurisdiction.

Further information on the operation of the Queensland Renewable Energy Diesel Replacement Scheme contact the Environmental Protection Agency in Queensland on 1300 369 388.

Contacts: Greg Doolan, Warren Entsch’s Office - (02) 6277 4656 or 0418 213 243 CMR452-01