Solar’s got power to grow
THE growth of renewable energy has led to 4105 jobs being created already this year across Australia.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said a string of large-scale solar project announcements made since February had pushed the number of direct jobs created this year in the development of solar, wind and other renewable energy projects to 4105, in a recordbreaking year for new investment in the sector.
Mr Thornton said aging coal-fired power stations were closing, so building new forms of energy generation was essential.
He said regional areas would most benefit from new job opportunities.
“There are now 35 projects that are already under construction, will start construction or have been completed in 2017.
“This all adds up to 4105 direct jobs, more than $7.4 billion of investment and 3549.4MW of new renewable energy capacity – the biggest program of works in the history of the industry.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 11,150 direct, full-time equivalent workers were employed in the sector nationally in 2015–16, almost half the 19,220 workers employed at the last peak in 2011–12.
Mr Thornton said renewable energy was the cheapest new power to generate, which was leading to more jobs being created.
Most people (5570) were employed in the rooftop solar industry, driven by the popularity of home and business owners to generate their own electricity. Those already with panels are also creating new work by getting batteries installed.
POWERING ON: Workers install solar panels.