New research conducted by EY and the Australian Climate Council has revealed that reaching 50% renewables by 2030 could create more than 28,000 new jobs nationally.
According to a new report, Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth (PDF), published this week by the Australian Climate Council and analysts EY, building out 50% renewable energy in Australia would create more than 28,000 jobs nationally — which is a 50% increase in jobs compared to a business-as-usual scenario (34% renewables by 2030). The jobs would spring up in the construction, operation, and maintenance sectors of renewable energy, as well as in retail industries. Furthermore, the report concludes that over 80% of full-time employment created under a 50% renewable energy scenario during 2014 to 2030 would be additional to the economy.
“Research has shown that we need to source at least half of our electricity from renewables by 2030 to be on track to completely decarbonize power generation by 2050, which is essential to tackle climate change,” said Andrew Stock, Climate Councillor and energy expert. “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.”
Specifically, more than 11,000 of the new jobs would be created in New South Wales, more than 6,000 in Queensland, approximately 4,000 in Victoria and South Australia each, almost 2,000 in Western Australia, and more than 500 in Tasmania.
Importantly, for a country like Australia with such an old and entrenched coal industry, a strong growth in a future renewable energy industry will help offset the loss of jobs in the coal industry.
“As the world moves away from coal, the industry is in structural decline,” said Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO. “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.”
“When government influences when and where coal closures occur, it allows for community planning and support for retraining.
“As well as maximizing 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.”
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