Renewables Could Boost Australian Employment by 50% – NFP Report
15 June 2016 at 4:58 pm
Sourcing half of Australia’s electricity from renewables would create more than 28,000 Australian jobs, half of which would be in solar, according to new Not for Profit research.
The Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth report, by Ernst and Young (EY) and the Climate Council, found that building 50 per cent renewables by 2030 would boost employment by almost 50 per cent more than if Australia stayed on its current trajectory.
The report found that if Australia aimed for at least 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030
more than 11,000 additional jobs would be created in New South Wales, more than 6,000 in Queensland, around 4,000 in Victoria, more than 3,600 in South Australia, almost 2,000 in Western Australia and more than 500 in Tasmania.
The report said that most states would see around half of all jobs in 2030 from rooftop solar PV (photovoltaics) systems and in Tasmania and NSW rooftop solar PV jobs would comprise around 25 per cent.
The report said in 2030, 70 per cent of the construction jobs in the electricity sector would be created in rooftop solar and 9 per cent in large-scale solar.
It said that in the area ongoing operations jobs, 11 per cent would be in rooftop solar and 4 per cent in large-scale solar.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said more than 80 per cent of jobs created would be new to the economy, with job losses in the coal sector more than offset by greatly increased employment in the renewable energy industry.
“As the world moves away from coal, the industry is in structural decline. This research highlights that tailored plans for winding down coal-fired power plants are a much better way to support coal communities rather than allowing the market to dictate coal closures,” McKenzie said.
“When government influences when and where coal closures occur, it allows for community planning and support for retraining.
“As well as maximising the employment benefits of the switch to renewables, it also allows for a better response to climate change, ensuring that the most polluting plants are the ones that are closed down first.”
Climate Councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock said every state would gain many more jobs than it would lose.
Stock said renewables had the potential to become the new economic powerhouse for Australia.
“More than eight million people are employed globally in the renewable energy industry but while jobs are booming globally, the most recent statistics show jobs have fallen in Australia as a result of policy uncertainty,” he said.
“This report shows that delivering 50 per cent renewables is a jobs creation and economic growth plan in addition to being a plan for dealing with climate change. It’s win-win.”
Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes said every voter in Australia should ask their local candidates where they or their party stands on renewable energy.
“Two of the biggest issues in this election campaign so far are jobs and climate change. This report demonstrates exactly how renewable energy is the solution to both fixing climate change and revitalising our economy with new jobs,” Grimes said.
“Many of the jobs created through rooftop solar are local, so by voting for candidates who are pro-solar this election you are also voting for candidates who are pro-jobs in your electorate.”
He said any politician who was anti-solar would be found out.
“Australians are looking for leaders who support small business and ordinary people who stand to save every day with solar. The renewables industry is the biggest business opportunity the world has ever seen, and anyone who doesn’t get that shouldn’t be in charge of our country’s future.”
As the peak body for the solar industry, the Solar Council said it was running a federal election campaign on behalf of its members calling for every political party to commit to at least 50 per cent renewables by 2030.