SHINING: bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey with representatives of the Climate Council in Canberra.
SHINING: bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey with representatives of the Climate Council in Canberra. Contributed

Shining bright for solar

THE Bundaberg region is one of the frontrunners of clean energy, boasting an impressive 10,072 solar-powered homes.

Queenslanders are embracing solar power in droves, with more than 30% of sunshine state homes installing solar panels, according to a new Climate Council report.

The 'Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge', report shows Queensland is planning to roll out 10 large-scale renewable energy projects, generating enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes.

The Climate Council report highlights the fact 31.6% of Queensland homes have solar panels installed on their rooftops, with 63% of homes becoming 'solar powerhouses'.

Bundaberg Regional Council, part of the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership, is regularly ranked as one of the state's top-performing solar locations.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the council and the community were reaping the rewards of renewable energy.

"While the obvious environmental benefits are a crucial aspect of council's involvement in solar energy, it has been the significant savings we have achieved on our power consumption that is a proven winner with the community,” Cr Dempsey said.

"In the past 24 months council has achieved savings of more than $1.6 million on its power bills.

"Council's current annual bill is some $300,000 less than it was paying in 2014 even though more infrastructure has come online and there have been significant electricity price increases.”

He said it had virtually become mandatory for the council to implement solar on any new infrastructure or, where practical, during upgrades on existing infrastructure.

The Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Bundaberg Multiplex will both be serviced by large solar installations.

The council has also approved a 400,000 solar panel farm just south of Childers which will generate enough energy to power 64,000 homes.

Key findings from the Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge report include:

. All states and territories bar Western Australia now have strong renewable energy targets or net zero emissions targets in place.

. State and territory targets and announced coal closures are expected to deliver Australia's 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28%.

. TAS, SA and the ACT continue to lead on percentage renewable electricity.

. QLD and NSW are set for a dramatic increase in renewable energy with the greatest capacity and number (respectively) of projects under construction in 2017.

. Households in QLD, SA and WA continue to lead in the proportion of homes with rooftop solar.



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