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Australia: New modelling reveals 50% renewables could create 28,000 jobs by 2030

Landmark report finds 50% renewable electricity by 2030 will create almost 50% more employment than our business as usual trajectory / Every state, and the nation as a whole, comes out ahead with increased employment more than compensating for job losses in the coal sector

Building 50% renewables by 2030 would create more than 28,000 jobs nationally, new research by EY and the Climate Council has found.

The research uses EY modelling to project the employment outcomes of 50% renewable electricity by 2030.

The Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth report finds that 50% renewable electricity by 2030 will create almost 50% more employment than our current pathway (34% renewables by 2030).

Climate Councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock said every state would gain many more jobs than it would lose. “Research has shown that we need to source at least half of our electricity from renewables by 2030 to be on track to completely decarbonise power generation by 2050, which is essential to tackle climate change,” he said. “This report shows that 50% renewable energy would also create many more jobs than our business as usual trajectory, and that every state will benefit. 28,000 jobs would be created in construction, operation and maintenance of renewable electricity generators, as well as in related industries, around Australia. Importantly, many of these jobs will be created in regional Australia. And unlike other industries in transition, such as automotive and manufacturing, most of these jobs will be created in Australia rather than moved offshore.

The report also finds:

  • More than 11,000 new jobs would be created in NSW, more than 6,000 in QLD, around 4,000 more in Victoria and South Australia, almost 2,000 in WA and more than 500 in Tasmania.
  • NSW would have the largest net growth in jobs, while South Australia would have the largest per capita growth.
  • More than half of new jobs will be created in rooftop solar PV.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said more than 80% 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,” Climate Council CEO Amanda 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.”

Mr 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% renewables is a jobs creation and economic growth plan in addition to being a plan for dealing with climate change. It’s win-­?win.”

Climate Council

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