Townsville has been identified by a Central Queensland University review as one of the best spots in the world to develop solar energy production.
There is “outstanding” potential for renewable energy potential in north and central Queensland, according to the report. The report says North Queensland sunlight is among the highest on the globe, and is comparable to desert areas of northern and southern Africa, and the south-western US.
The report’s authors have called for federal and state approval of renewable energy projects in Queensland to be streamlined in order to increase solar and wind energy development.
Their recommendation has been supported by Q-Cells, one of largest makers of solar panels internationally.
The German-owned power firm has donated two solar photovoltaic systems to James Cook University’s Townsville campus. The systems will entirely power one of the School of Engineering and Physical Science’s buildings.
The excess electricity is being sold back to the Ergon Energy grid for credits.
Dr Oliver Hartley, Q-Cells Australia managing director, said North Queensland was ripe for a large-scale solar farm, but the approval process for solar developments created too much uncertainty for consumers.
“It seems to be every connection is a one-off approval,” he said.
“It’s sometimes difficult for the people who develop a project to really understand what is required (by governments).”
The report suggests that potential developers should have access to a high quality database for solar and wind energy resources, including detailed maps, transmission and solar resources.
This would help development occur at the best possible locations.
Mr Baniyounes said the Solar City project demonstrated the potential of renewable energy in the region.
However, he said more should be done to make renewable energy more affordable for residents.
“The scheme and target is very good but it just needs more of a boost,” he said.
by Australian Solar Quotes