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Australian State To Invest $1.55 Billion In Renewables

Australian State Premier says $1.55 billion will be invested in a renewable energy and hydrogen jobs fund in next week's budget.

BRISBANE, Australia — The North-eastern state of Queensland’s government will commit AU$ 2 billion ($1.55 billion) towards renewable energy projects to keep public assets in Queensland’s hands, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

The landmark investment by the state government will further its initial contribution of AU$ 500 million ($387 million) to the Queensland Renewable Energy Fund.

Just weeks before the state budget, the premier declared Queensland’s public-owned power generators would be forced to increase investment in renewable energy, with an investment into manufacturing jobs, under the multibillion-dollar plan to cut emissions and lower electricity prices.

“This is positioning Queensland for the future,” the premier said on June 10.

“Our government is committed to Queensland becoming renewables, hydrogen, and manufacturing superpower because it means more full-time jobs across more regions.”

The landmark investment by the state government will further its initial contribution of AU$500 million to the Queensland Renewable Energy Fund. (Lukas Coch/AAP Image)

Palaszczuk said the fund would support government-owned businesses to expand ownership of renewable energy generation and storage and deliver on a target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

“It will also fund projects to develop our hydrogen industry so that we can reduce emissions in the transport sector and export our sunshine and wind energy to the world,” she said.

Maintaining the government’s majority ownership of power assets would ensure the returns come back to Queenslanders rather than going offshore, the premier added.

“We will keep these assets in public hands.”

Palaszczuk said the government had taken renewable energy generation from seven percent to more than 20 percent since gaining office, offsetting 12.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The premier also agreed between Queensland Pacific Minerals and Korean companies LG energy solutions and POSCO to develop a Townsville chemical energy hub.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at the 2021 Queensland State Labor Conference at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, June 5, 2021. (Dan Peled/AAP Image)

The hub will manufacture nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate needed for electric vehicles at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

It will involve more than AU$ 800 million ($620 million) of capital investment, 800 construction jobs, and 250 ongoing jobs.

“That demand for energy drives more renewable manufacturing that will further the cycle of lifting international competitiveness,” she said.

“As more products are made from renewable energy globally, Queensland will become one of the most attractive destinations for investment.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Jobs Fund encouraged investment in Queensland and focused on job-creating industries like renewable energy, hydrogen, and manufacturing.

“The Queensland Jobs Fund, which now includes AU$ 2 billion ($1.55 billion) for renewable energy and hydrogen jobs, is the government’s next step toward Queensland’s continued economic recovery,” Miles said in a statement.

(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ojaswin Kathuria)

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