Solar will power Queensland says gas company boss

THE man who drove one of Queensland's biggest coal seam gas projects believes large scale solar power plants will be the state's next boom industry.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Brisbane, Origin Energy managing director Grant King said he believe solar power would be the next great economic boom for the state.

Mr King said Queensland was positioned to become a global energy superpower because of the state's coal and gas reserves as well as the great potential for "utility-scale" solar power plants.

"I would think the next great round of investment in Queensland would be in utility-scale solar," he said.

"It will result in billions of dollars of investment in Queensland. And Queensland will become the centre for utility scale solar in much the same was as Queensland has become the centre of LNG production - certainly in terms of the East Coast.

Mr King said the Federal Government's 26% renewable energy target was a "very significant" target that would need "billions of dollars" of investment to meet.

"If today a 40 megawatt project is a large-scale utility solar project, remember we need 250 of them by 2020. That is an extraordinary outcome to contemplate," he said.

Mr King also called for ideology to be taken out of carbon policy debate.

"The reduction of carbon is a very important task, no one is arguing otherwise," he said.

"I've always said it is a practical problem for practical people - it is not an ideological problem.

"It is not made easier; in fact it is made harder, when it is shrouded in all these ideological views."

- APN NEWSDESK



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