Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Policy & Politics

Widespread Job Losses Likely If Renewable Energy Target Abolished In Australia

It’s been no surprise to regular readers of CleanTechnica that not only am I Australian, but that I’m relatively unhappy with the current government’s predilection towards abolishing my country’s Renewable Energy Target.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one, and Australia’s Clean Energy Council has released a briefing paper outlining the impact of cutting the Renewable Energy Target (RET) on state jobs and investment.

To outline the situation, for those who have avoided my previous ranting and raving, the RET review panel has presented a recommendation to the Australian Government to close the Large-scale RET to new entrants and ‘grandfather’ existing investments. According to the Clean Energy Council (CEC), “were this scenario to be adopted by the government, it would lead to widespread job losses across the sector, and have a significant impact on future investment across all states.”

Let’s be very clear here — anything that has repercussions with the word “widespread” attached to it is bad. It invariably refers to horrible zombie infestations (ie, widespread panic, widespread panic, widespread zombieism), and I think the same tenor can be taken when we consider the “widespread job losses” to Australia’s renewable energy industry.

The Australian renewable energy industry currently employs 21,000 people, and is expected to add a further 18,400 jobs by 2020. The Large-scale RET has generated more than $10 billion in investments to date, and is expected to drive an additional $15 billion by 2020. To think of putting either of these at risk by meddling with the RET speaks of the sheer absurdity of the current Liberal Government’s current politics, and their underlying lack of concern for the environment when paired against cow-towing to big business.

Much of the investment currently being funneled into renewable energy projects are in regional and rural areas of Australia, across all the states of the country. According to CEC, if the RET were closed to new entrants the potential investment across all the states would fall by 75%. Specifically, the state of New South Wales would lose $4.24 billion in investment, Victoria would lose $2.83 billion, and Queensland would lose $2.03 billion.

investment australia cec

In terms of jobs, as CEC notes in their briefing paper, “any cut to the RET would risk the livelihoods of the 21,000 Australians employed in the renewable energy industry.”

jobs australia cec

Many of those 21,000 are RE-trained individuals, working in their second or third career. In addition to the inherent rural and regional nature of small- and large-scale renewable energy projects, these renewable energy employees would not only lose their jobs, but they would find it doubly difficult to find work again.

A lot has already been said about Australia’s Renewable Energy Target politics, that saying anything further would simply be needless repetition. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Australia’s entire energy industry is at risk, not to mention its environmental standing and politics, if the current Australian Government is given free reign to meddle with necessary environmental regulations. Hopefully statistics like those shown above will go a long way to bringing a semblance of sanity back to Parliament.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

WIRED had an article the other day that caught my eye. The headline posed the question of whether we ought to “turn airports into...


Victoria wants to tax electric cars but doesn't tax conventional cars. Does that make any sense?

Clean Power

System Operator CEOs and Energy Leaders from Around the World Discussed Paths to Net-Zero Emissions During Launch Event for Global Power System Transformation Consortium


Only when all three technologies are considered do we see the full spectrum of storage requirements being met. Lithium-ion's limitations are balanced by pumped...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.