Resources vital role in renewables

29 August 2016

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) today launches a campaign to highlight the resource sector’s vital and enduring role in renewables, innovation and energy security.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said the campaign would increase public awareness that commodities from the resources sector provide the vital ingredients to make the products we use in our lives every day, including renewables.

‘This campaign is designed to educate the public that our sector provides the materials that are used to build just about everything that surrounds us today, and will continue to do so well into the future,’ Mr Roche said.

‘This campaign in particular highlights the many natural resources that are used to produce and utilise sustainable energy.

‘Apart from creating jobs and producing income for governments to provide essential services, our sector is at the front line of generating alternative energy and materials and, therefore, providing solutions for a sustainable lifestyle, now and into the future.’

Mr Roche noted that Queensland had one of the world’s highest take-up rates for domestic solar power panels.

‘Every part of a solar panel is manufactured from mined metals and materials,’ Mr Roche said. ‘The panel frames are made from aluminium, which comes from bauxite such as that mined on Cape York and then refined into alumina at Gladstone. The cells are made from silica, tellurium and cadmium.

‘The wiring from a solar panel on your roof to your house is made from copper, like that mined and smelted in Queensland’s north-west minerals province centred on Mount Isa and Cloncurry and then refined in Townsville.’

Mr Roche also pointed to wind turbines as products of the resources sector as virtually every part of a wind turbine is dependent on steel.

‘Approximately 70 percent of world steel production uses coking coal as an essential ingredient, and Queensland’s Bowen Basin – as the largest source of seaborne coking coal exports – plays a key role in making wind power a reality,’ Mr Roche said.

‘The wind turbine’s generator is 65 percent steel, and 35 percent copper – again a Queensland product.’

Finally, this campaign highlights the essential role played by resources in ensuring energy security for Queenslanders.

Mr Roche pointed out that on a brilliant sunny Sunday in Queensland yesterday, at 1pm our State was using 6,244 megawatts (MW) of power, with 4,796 MW sources from coal, 578 MW from gas and 828 MW from solar.

‘While the role of solar and wind power is no doubt set to grow in Queensland, our coal and gas will help to ensure we avoid the power supply crisis besetting South Australia. Power from Queensland resources will be there when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing.’

HD video footage available on request.

Media contact: Angela Harper, Ron Watson or Anthony Donaghy on 07 3295 9560