Government’s plan to cut $70 from power bills
THE Queensland Government has scraped together $250 million from a number of other clean-energy programs to pay for the initial funding of its new clean energy company.
The Government on Thursday announced the establishment of CleanCo - first announced in last year's budget but not officially allocated money until now.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the money was put together from several clean energy programs already in place, including the Powering Queensland plan.
"That is all money that is currently within our forward estimates so there's no additional money at this point in time," Ms Trad said.
"But we believe these initiatives, which were earmarked for funding, are better delivered by CleanCo going forward."
The Treasurer wasn't able to say how much CleanCO would eventually cost, saying that would depend on what power assets it eventually invested in.
The Government estimates the company will drive down power prices by around $70 a year by increasing competition and investing in renewable energy sources. Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said they planned for the company to be generating 1000 megawatts by 2025.
"The best way to bring down power bills for Queensland families is by investment in renewable energy sources," Dr Lynham said.
He said CleanCo also put the government "well on target" to achieve its 50 per cent renewable energy by 2050 target, with the state current sourcing around 20 per cent of its power from green sources.
The Electrical Trades Union has previously criticised CleanCo as "privatisation by stealth" amid concerns for workers at coal-fired power stations. ETU members protested outside state parliament as this year's budget was handed down in June, calling the consultations with the government on CleanCo "hollow, tokenistic and a sham".
Dr Lynham defended the government's position, saying coal power would be part of the state's energy mix for a number of years.
The government also announced a special body would be set up to ensure any affected workers are looked after and to ensure pathways for workers in existing power sectors to transition to the renewable sector.