Queensland is putting its money where its mouth is. The Climate Council’s State of Play report awarded Queensland the ‘Most Improved Award’ for eclipsing the other states and territories with its increased large-scale wind and solar capacity.

According to the report, which focuses on the national renewable energy leaders and losers, 25 of the 35 towns and suburbs with more than 50 per cent of homes fitted with solar panels are in Queensland. The statewide champion is the suburb of Elimbah in Moreton Bay with an impressive 70.6 per cent of homes fitted with solar, with Jimboomba in the Logan Shire coming in second with 60.9 per cent of homes drawing energy from the sun.

Powered by rays

The solar industry is enjoying its time in the sun with the Queensland Government pledging $1.16 billion for the Powering Queensland program — of which $97 million has been set aside for solar and energy-saving programs in schools.

According to the Queensland Government, we're leading the way on renewables as we head towards a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. 

Initiatives encouraging the uptake of rooftop solar and batteries are creating an environment that has been embraced by the solar industry across the state, particularly in regional areas. 

Solar gardens may reap bigger savings (and boost our economy)

Renewable energy experts have also suggested targeting residents who would normally fall outside of the target market for solar panels including rental properties, unit buildings, and owners who could not afford the initial financial outlay. Research by startup incubator Energy Lab found that only four per cent of rental properties and four per cent of apartments have solar on the roof, compared with 29 per cent of owner-occupied households and 38 per cent of owner-occupied standalone houses.

The Community Power Agency, made up of 20 community groups, is calling for a trial of Solar Gardens, which have already proven successful in the United States. The concept involves allowing residents, such as renters or those living in an apartment, to purchase or subscribe to an allotment in a community solar garden which would feed power into the grid and subsidise their electricity costs.

Training to light up your business

According to TAFE Queensland Renewable Energy teacher Israel Vogel, as interest in renewable energies grows within both the consumer and commercial sectors, more and more businesses are looking at ways capitalise on this growth market.

“Many of our students come from larger organisations looking to upskill their workforce, as well as small business owners across the broader electrical industry looking to get into the growing solar market," he said.

“The solar industry is one of the strongest growth areas in Queensland and it's not surprising that many electricians and engineers are keen to see what opportunities are available," he continued.

“Our Renewable Energy team understand that the information and technology within this industry changes quickly, so they work to continuously collaborate with industry stakeholders to ensure we are using the latest equipment and products in our training.”

Want to join a booming industry? Check out our electrotechnology and utilities courses.

TAFE Queensland also offers four specific renewable energy courses:

  • Solar Panel and Grid Connect Install Skill Set (SSUEE0018)
  • Solar Panel and Grid Connect Design Skill Set (SSUEE0009)
  • Battery Storage Systems for Grid Connect PV Systems Skill Set (SSUEE0024)
  • Stand-Alone power Systems (SPS) Design and Install Skill Set (SSUEE0019)


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