Energising our communities

22 June 2017

By David Smales, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Queensland

It was an opportunity to provide the audience with an overview of Energy Queensland and some insights on our strategy for delivering energy across our state.

Electricity supply has always played an integral role in the development of Queensland and its growing economy.

Looking back on the history of the industry in the Sunshine State I noted that while there had been many obvious changes since the first flicker of eight arc lamps along a section of Brisbane’s Eagle Street in December 1882, parts of the industry has almost come full circle. For almost 135 years, ownership and responsibility for electricity supply shifted from private hands to councils and then to authorities and boards.

Energy Queensland formed

Then last year, on 1 July, another milestone was achieved with the merger of Ergon Energy and Energex.

The Queensland Government, as owners of these companies, formed Energy Queensland in order to make the electricity sector more efficient and to create an energy business ready for the future.

And again have privately owned generators in our communities – they just happen to be customers boasting solar and batteries connected to our network.

By working with industry, other suppliers and service providers, and relevant stakeholders we can not only deliver more efficient networks, but also provide our communities and customers with real, value-adding energy solutions in line with their needs.

The emergence of residential and commercial solar PV and battery storage and the impact these have on our business have created exciting opportunities.

Solar and batteries

Queensland has the highest penetration of solar PV per capita in Australia with more than 450,000 solar PV systems installed, and interestingly there are almost 2000 battery systems Installations.

Energy Storage is clearly going to play a part of the future and managing the potential of this and its use as a load control tool by offering appropriate incentives for customers is to be part of Energy Queensland’s emerging demand management strategy.

We can see a clear growth path for Electric Vehicles, which are becoming more popular and more affordable and we are partnering with the Queensland Government to establish a Super Highway of fast charge points to support this growth.

It is important work, particularly at a time when our customers want to become more engaged with and, involved in, distributed generation.

All of this is work is underpinned by Energy Queensland’s commitment to energising our Queensland communities...in every sense of the word!

We believe that part of our role is to support and facilitate the ongoing development of Queensland's electricity ecosystem in order to best meet local community and customer needs.