GOVERNMENT INACTION HOLDING BACK AUSTRALIA’S FAIR SHARE OF RENEWABLE JOBS GROWTH: NEW ABS FIGURES - Solar Citizens

GOVERNMENT INACTION HOLDING BACK AUSTRALIA’S FAIR SHARE OF RENEWABLE JOBS GROWTH: NEW ABS FIGURES

The Turnbull Government is failing to ensure stability and confidence in the renewable energy industry as new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Abbott era attacks are still holding back jobs growth in solar and renewables.

The new ABS statistics reveal:

  • Employment in renewable energy activity fell by three per cent from 2013-14 to 2014-15 continuing a trend from 2011-12
  • Solar energy (including roof-top solar PV, solar hot water and large scale solar PV) is the most significant source of renewable jobs, employing 8,310 people in 2014-15 and accounting for 59% of all renewable energy jobs.
  • Employment in solar energy peaked at 14,350 in 2011-12

Claire O’Rourke, Solar Citizens National Director, said the figures showed urgent national action is needed for Australia to turn around the slow down and cash in on the renewable jobs boom powering up elsewhere in the world.

“Malcolm Turnbull has publicly stated his support for renewables but the ABS figures released today clearly show it’s time he must move from rhetoric to action,” O’Rourke said.

“The Australian renewable industry is still being held back by uncertainty over government policy and investment.

“The bill seeking to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is still in play - it is a potential trigger for a double dissolution election but more importantly creates uncertainty for the orderly development of renewable energy technologies and projects.

“If the Federal Government is serious about making job creation and a healthy economy a priority, then it can’t pass on this massive opportunity in solar and renewables.

“Elsewhere around the world, employment in renewables is booming. According to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global renewable energy industry employs 7.7 million people, directly or indirectly. Australia can’t miss out.”

“Despite the decline, the renewable energy sector still employs more people than the entire coal and gas electricity generation sector which in 2007 employed 9,487 people. Since then, this has declined.

“The Federal government needs to remove all remaining uncertainty and articulate a clear, reasonable and ambitious plan on clean energy that stimulates business investment in renewables and provides a fair go for solar owners,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

Notes

1. ‘Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia, 2014-15', ABS Report 4631.0, 15 March 2016, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/4631.0Media%20Release12014-15

2. ‘Renewable Energy and jobs - Annual Review 2015’, IRENA, http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=36&CatID=141&SubcatID=585 

3. 'Will we let the sun shine in’ The Australia Institute, July 2014, http://www.tai.org.au/system/files_force/PB%2065%20Will%20we%20let%20the%20sun%20shine%20in.pdf?download=1