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New geothermal legislation in Queensland in the work

Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia (source: flickr/ neilalderney123, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 30 Jul 2010

Australian state of Queensland introduced a Geothermal Energy Bill into Parliament, which will provide the next important step for the sector's growth.

Australian geothermal development company Clean Energy Australasia (CEA) wants to build geothermal power stations in western Queensland and in South Australia. “The company plans geothermal power stations throughout the state of Queensland in the country, but says the industry cannot move forward due to State Government legislation.

CEA spokesman Joe Reichman says it cannot start producing electricity from geothermal resources under state laws because they only allow for exploration.

“The Queensland Government has not passed production legislation so we can’t produce electricity from geothermal because there’s no production legislation for geothermal,” he said.

“Therefore the way things stand we’re just absolutely strapped – we can’t move forward until we start to get some positive support from both the Queensland and the federal governments.”

He says new laws are needed to boost confidence in the sector.

“[To] get that production legislation on the books so we can actually produce geothermal electricity, then the investment community which … don’t like to invest in high-risk ventures where they can’t see with clarity how they’ll be able to make these things commercially viable,” he said.

“Then we believe the money will then start to come flooding from the investment communities.”

But the Queensland Government says new laws are before the Parliament that will help the development of a large scale geothermal production industry in the state.

A spokesman from the Department of Mines and Energy says the Geothermal Energy Bill was introduced into Parliament in May this year, which when passed, will provide the next important step for the sector’s growth.

The Government also says it is committed to geothermal power and operates Australia’s only geothermal power station at Birdsville in the state’s far-west and is investing AU$15 million (US$13.4million) over five years in the Queensland Geothermal Centre of Excellence.”

Source: ABC News