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Renewable energy is booming in Australia, and jobs are too. As clean energy surges in its popularity and affordability, a huge amount of new jobs have been created across Australia.

As more large-scale renewable projects are built, there’s been a surge in jobs for construction workers, electricians, transport and machine operators, general labourers. The Clean Energy Council estimated that the renewable energy industry was responsible for more than 25,000 jobs across the construction, operations and maintenance and rooftop solar installation sector in 2019.X

As Australia’s energy system diversifies, so too will the jobs available in the sector. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, investing in relatively new technologies — like battery storage, battery storage, hydrogen, lithium and rare earths  could be one of our best opportunities to create regional jobs and grow industry hubsX.  In Victoria, the proposed Star of the South offshore wind farm is expected to provide 12,000 jobs in construction, and 300 ongoing jobs - and could provide up to one-fifth of the state’s electricity needsX,X,X

This isn’t just happening at a national scale, it’s happening at a local scale too. About 2.5 million homes are now powered by rooftop solar, creating more than 13,000 full-time jobsX and a thriving industry for small businesses working on solar installation and servicing. And when local businesses go solar, the flow-on effects include an even more productive local economy: lowering costs means freeing up cash to make more investments, grow their businesses or hire more people for their core business. 

Renewable energy industry is growing fast, and it will continue to surge if we scale-up to meet demandX. After more than a century of coal-fired power, the boom in renewables in recent years means that clean energy is set to provide about 30% of our energy needs this yearX. The head of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has said that over the next decade or so, renewable hydrogen energy could emerge as “the Netflix of the energy sector”,  a groundbreaking technological step-change, delivering a massive new export market for renewables and cheaper electricity for Australian consumersX,X.

To make the most of this emerging market opportunity it’ll take businesses, communities and government working together and planning how we can all benefit. If we do it right, clean energy will surge -- and permanent, stable, well-paid jobs will too.

Investing in renewable energy infrastructure can build engineering and scientific capacity, leverage financial capacity, and create thousands of high value, sustainable jobs regionally.”

Tim Buckley, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

  1. Clean Energy at work. Clean Energy Council. 2 June 2020. 
  2. IEEFA Australia: Battery storage, renewables, hydrogen and rare earths – investment and transition planning can create jobs now and into the future. IEEFA. October 21 2019. 
  3. Star of The South Project. WSP.
  4. Proposal for first offshore windfarm has 250 turbines off Victorian coast. The Guardian, June 2017.
  5. Exploration License Approval for Australia’s First Offshore Wind Project a Welcome Step to Create Local Jobs while addressing Climate Change, Maritime Union of Australia. 20 March 2019. 
  6. Employment in Renewable Energy Activities in Australia 2018-19. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6 April 2020. 
  7. The distributed energy resources revolution, a roadmap for Australia's enormous rooftop solar and battery potential. Clean Energy Council, 29 August 2019.
  8. Clean Energy Regulator, The Renewable Energy Target 2019 Administrative Report, September 2020. 
  9. Australia could aim for 700 per cent renewables, ARENA boss. Renew Economy. 8 October 2019. 
  10. Can renewable hydrogen become the Netflix of the electricity sector? Renew Economy, 11 October 2019

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