This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
Mark McArdle was first elected to Queensland Parliament Feb. 7, 2004 as the Member for Caloundra. During his time in Parliament, Minister McArdle has held many central positions including Leader of the Liberal Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition after the merger between the Liberal and National Parties. He is extremely passionate about cost of living issues impacting Queenslanders and has initiated vital reform processes in the Energy and Water sectors since taking the portfolio. This includes creating a 30-Year Energy Strategy and a 30-Year Water Strategy in order to provide a sustainable blueprint for the future of Queensland. Minister McArdle spoke at the recent Singapore International Energy Week 2013 on the resurgence of fossil fuels in the global energy mix.
On Queensland’s Energy Mix and the Cost of Energy
What is your view of the role of renewables in your state’s energy mix? How do you balance the state’s role in the energy value chain and its carbon footprint, given that Queensland is an energy exporter?
Renewables are currently playing a large role in the State’s energy mix with one gigawatt of solar capacity installed on rooftops across the State. It is anticipated that a shift in generation to a more diversified generation mix will continue to happen as technologies mature. It is important to let the market dictate what generation should be brought on line. This will create challenges for the generation and network sectors and this will need to be monitored and responded to in a timely manner, and hence, my Department has been working on developing a 30-year electricity strategy.
You recently announced major reforms to the Queensland’s electricity sector. What are some priorities that you hope to address through these reforms and why are they important to Queensland residents?
The key thrusts of the Queensland Government’s energy reform package are to address recent electricity price rises and to develop a more competitive and efficient market that is also robust and flexible, to allow the innovation that will come in the future.
One of the first actions of our Government last year was to establish an Interdepartmental Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the State’s electricity sector and to provide options to get things on track. Of highest priority were options to address the cost of developing electricity network infrastructure, which has been the main component of electricity price increases. The committee released its report in June this year and implementation of their recommendations is well underway.
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