Federal government-backed plans to power Queensland’s World Heritage-listed Daintree region with solar to hydrogen gas-based microgrids have been cast into doubt, after a new report revealed such a solution to be exorbitantly expensive and not the best offering for the remote rainforest area.
The Queensland government report, prepared by KPMG, says that currently proposed renewable microgrid options presented “numerous technical and commercial risks,” and were basically financially unviable without significant upfront and ongoing government support.
In dollar terms, KPMG puts the annual cost of currently proposed microgrid solutions somewhere between $11,000 and $15,000 more per residential customer – or a subsidy of between $70-$150 million – to preserve current consumer electricity costs.
And it recommends, instead, the gradual enhancement and replacement of stand-alone solar power-based solutions, as emerging technologies like green hydrogen and battery storage continue to improve and become more readily accessible.
As well as being cheaper, the report finds that this approach would also have a lower environmental and cultural heritage impact and be more reliable.
It is a conclusion that – rather ironically – delivers a blow to one of the Morrison government’s few open endorsements of 100 per cent renewable energy solutions.
To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, click here…