Solar will compete with coal as the biggest single source of electricity in Queensland by the year 2030, under the main scenarios outlined by the state’s expert panel in a draft report on its 50% renewable energy target as reported by Clean Technica.
According to the primary scenarios outlined in the report, the state will feature 4,900 megawatts of rooftop solar by the year 2030 and will have some 5,200 megawatts of large-scale solar PVs as well.
This will give Queensland 10,100 megawatts of solar capacity. The forecast does not include solar thermal technologies, such as solar towers with storage, although the panel members say this is possible if costs come down.
The report stated that solar will account for most of the 14,100 megawatt capacity required to provide the 30,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity needed to meet the state’s 50% target by 2030.
The forecast is based on projections from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which the panel appears to understand is below some other commercial market forecasts.
It is also noted that if battery storage costs were to reduce faster than what was forecasted and its modelling only gives 6%-7% every year, then the expectations for rooftop solar can change.
The panel also thinks that the market for industrial and commercial solar is vastly untapped, these operations coincide with the solar output. It also suggests that the government install more solar on their own buildings, change voltage regulation and conform to international standards. These changes would allow for greater uptake of rooftop solar on the grid and alleviate the supply concerns in many congested areas.
The panel’s forecast on large-scale solar is conservative, at least in the short-term. The panel predicts wind to take the biggest share of capacity in the next 5 years and only around 500 megawatts of large-scale solar will be built between this year and 2020.
This would include the 245 megawatts of large-scale solar that is being partially funded by ARENA, the ones already committed and other plants that intend to go merchants and sell the power output on the spot market.
Featured Image Credit: Jose Mesa