Queensland is leading the national charge towards a record year for the large-scale solar industry, Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton told a sold-out audience at the 2018 Large-scale Solar Industry Forum.

The current boom in activity is something that will be a key topic of discussion at the Large-scale Solar Industry Forum being held in Brisbane today. The event brings together 450 solar technical professionals from across the country to learn from experts in the field.

According to Thornton 20 projects were actively under construction, would soon start or had already been completed in the Sunshine State during 2018 and the flow-on benefits were helping regional communities in solar hotspots such as North Queensland and the Darling Downs.

“Across the country, projects which are under construction, completed or have secured financial commitment add up to $5 billion in investment, with Queensland investments contributing more than half – 52 per cent, or $2.6 billion. All up, large-scale solar activity in the state adds up to almost 2670 direct jobs and 1400 MW of new clean energy,” said Thornton.

“The technology in the solar industry is forever evolving and maturing and events like the Large-scale Solar Industry Forum allow industry professionals across all levels to network and discuss issues and celebrate achievements for the industry.”

Thornton said the dramatically falling cost of large-scale solar power this decade had sparked a huge amount of interest in the sector from construction companies and major financiers.

“Large-scale solar has gone from an emerging technology in Australia at the beginning of the decade to a genuinely game-changing form of power that is cheaper than new coal or gas. It has exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic predictions,” said Thornton.

“Along with the national Renewable Energy Target, support from the Queensland Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has helped to make this one of the lowest-cost options we have for electricity today.”