Oct 22, 2021


Oct 22, 2021

Queensland’s love affair with green hydrogen will amount to nothing but “hot air” if the State doesn’t drastically increase investment in electricity generation and network capacity, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Trager MP Robbie Katter has said.

Mr Katter said – if current political trends were to eventuate – a massive increase in energy demand from hydrogen production could see energy skyrocket and local families and businesses suffer in the same way they have from the tripling of gas prices by the LNG export industry.

“Both Labor and the LNP need to learn from the disastrous choices of the Bligh Labor government in letting multinational’s like PetroChina and Shell dictate Queensland’s energy policy,” he said.

“There is a huge risk this will happen again with hydrogen and we will further squander Queensland’s competitive advantage and tens of thousands of jobs in mining, minerals processing, manufacturing and other energy intensive industries.”

Mr Katter said both the State and Federal Governments needed to make good on their promises to deliver regulated infrastructure and new generation across the North West to ensure Queensland has enough cheap and reliable electricity to supply local industry first.

“The North-West, particularly around Hughenden, Cloncurry and Mount Isa, has the best mix of renewable resources in the country, and we have existing large-scale gas generation to keep it reliable,” he said.

“But all of these resources are useless if they are not connected to the national grid which is why the State and Federal Government’s must urgently deliver on their promises to build CopperString 2.0.”

North-West Queensland is widely-considered a lucrative renewable energy corridor thanks to vast wind and solar potential.

There are more than 2,000 megawatts of large-scale, highly efficient wind and solar projects proposed across the corridor between Mount Isa and Townsville.

The KAP remains very supportive of coal-fired power for as long as there is a market for it, but said political trends including Australia’s rapid progression towards adopting a Net-Zero by 2050 policy indicated a growing national obsession with renewables.

A Geoscience Australia report published earlier this year showed the CopperString 2.0 project cut through the heartland of massive, highly-reliable renewable resources.[1]

This includes the area around Hughenden, which has a potential renewable energy capacity factor of 58 percent as well as Kidston (capacity factor up to 52 percent) and the region round Mount Isa (capacity factor up to 56 percent).

In addition, and unlike other regions, the North has an abundance of water, making it ideal to support hydrogen production.

“The State’s preoccupation with hydrogen as the overarching solution to its future energy export objectives is ambitious, to say the least,” Mr Katter said.

“If we are all going to agree that hydrogen is crucial to Queensland’s, and Australia’s, energy and economic future then we need to have less photo opportunities and more serious, practical discussions around how this will be delivered.

“The North-West and Townsville have never been more important to Queensland’s economic future; we have the minerals and energy resources the whole world wants, but what we lack is the infrastructure.

“If Governments don’t invest in, and control, the shared infrastructure we need now we will either miss this once in a generation opportunity, or local households and businesses will suffer when huge increases in electricity demand push our grid to its capacity.”