Queensland is tone of the largest consumers of electricity in Australia and demand growth is expected to continue. It is estimated that one million people anticipated to make Queensland’s south-east corner their home over the next 20 years. Also, Queensland’s resources sector consumers require energy for the operation of mines, mineral processors such as smelters, crushers and refineries, gas and chemical manufacturing and supporting export infrastructure such as ports and rail.
The electricity supply industry in Queensland comprises a number of interconnected sectors:
- Generation: Electricity is produced at power stations (generators) or large scale renewable plants.
- Transmission: Electricity is transported from power stations through the high voltage transmission network. Voltage is then reduced to a lower voltage at substations.
- Distribution: Electricity is distributed to homes and business via ‘bulk supply’ substations.
- Retail: Electricity is sold to customers by an electricity retailer.
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from other sources of primary energy. For electric utilities, it is the first process in the delivery of electricity to consumers. The other processes, electricity transmission, distribution, and electrical power storage and recovery using pumped-storage methods are normally carried out by the electric power industry. Electricity is most often generated at a power station by electromechanical generators, primarily driven by heat engines fuelled by combustion or nuclear fission but also by other means such as the kinetic energy of flowing water and wind. Other energy sources include solar photovoltaics and geothermal power and electrochemical batteries.
The majority of electricity generation in Queensland is sourced from coal-fired power stations in central and south east Queensland. However, there is an increasing number of gas-fired power stations and other renewable energy sources being used to generate electricity in Queensland such as hydro, wind and biomass.
Government Owned Corporations (GOC) own many of the larger power stations, however there are an increasing number of privately owned power stations.
Queensland’s industrial, commercial and domestic electricity generation is provided by the following companies:
- NRG Gladstone Operating Services
- CS Energy
- Origin Energy
- Stanwell Corporation.