Queensland University’s Solar Farm Ambitions

Queensland is the first state in Australia to produce 1 gigawatt of solar energy thanks to home solar power systems, which have proven to be quite popular among Australian households who want to reduce their carbon footprint. As such, it is no longer a surprise when it was announced that Queensland University will soon be gaining recognition as the new host to the state’s largest solar power system by virtue of the huge solar panel arrays that would soon be installed there.

Queensland University Solar Farm

The solar farm will be installed on an airstrip at Queensland University’s Gatton campus around 100km west of Brisbane. It will soon be the home of two large solar farms in western New South Wales. Thanks to a government grant amounting to $450 million under the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships program, the potential of Australia as a solar powerhouse is expected to be maximised once operations start generating power early this year. The Gatton project, in particular, is receiving an extra $40.7 million boost thanks to another grant obtained from the Federal Government’s Education Investment Fund.

What Solar Power Means to Australia

With solar quotes at an all-time high, the solar industry in Australia has become a formidable industry employing a workforce that is said to be 18,500 strong. More than the job generation, however, the best contribution that this booming industry has to offer would be the alternative power source that is sustainable, green, and renewable. As such, more funds for research and development purposes should be welcomed with open arms because this only translates to further improvement in terms of offering renewable energy that might not benefit the household right away, but would definitely lead to benefits for the environment in the long run.

What More Is in Store

Considering the spike in solar quotes coming from consumer demand, the challenge for Queensland University now would be in terms of making the technology more accessible and affordable to the general public, which would not be that hard to do because the foundation has already been laid out for mass support. In fact, Australia’s solar power consumers are mostly made up of residential households, as opposed to the majority in the United States, for example, where large companies are the ones leading the revolution towards renewable energy. For Queensland University, however, it seems as though the focus would be more on providing energy for the campus and as already mentioned, research and development.

While the solar energy industry has been suffering from some blows in Australia recently in terms of clamour for less government support, there is no stopping this move towards renewable energy sources. What the research and development teams of those universities and producers involved should do is to make the idea more appealing by going all-out on information campaigns, making sure to tell the consumer regarding the benefits that could be derived from this long-term investment in terms of finances as well as environmental impact.

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.

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