New analysis from The Australia Institute shows that 53% renewable energy capacity by 2030 would create between 18,000 and 59,000 direct jobs across the country. The analysis is based on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s ‘Fast Scenario’ developed as part of its Integrated System Plan.
The wide range of possible employment outcomes depends largely on how much assembly and manufacturing can be done in Australia.
Ongoing rooftop solar expansion and the installation phase of utility scale solar and wind projects deliver the majority of those positions, but more than 10,000 ongoing jobs could be created, predominantly in regional Australia, in the maintenance and operation of renewable energy facilities under the policy.
“A serious renewable energy target could drive a jobs boom in Australia, particularly in regional areas,” said Rod Campbell, Director of Research at The Australia Institute.
“As employment in the ageing coal power sector declines, new renewable energy projects are already coming online and creating jobs in construction, installation and assembly.
“With strong targets, stable energy policy and support for manufacturing, Australia can clean up its energy sector and generate substantial employment opportunities.
“A large proportion of the jobs being created in renewable energy are outside of the major city centres, which has the potential to give regional Australia a much needed boost.
“In the decade to 2030, there are far more jobs in building new renewable generation than there currently are in operating our aging fossil fuel generators. In the longer term, the operation of utility scale renewables is likely to have similar levels of employment to fossil fuel generators.”