Renewables Plan Backed by Concerned Youth
22 October 2020: Renewables Plan Backed by Concerned Youth
This morning a collection of community groups and concerned Townsville youth came together to call on all sides of politics to back more renewable energy in the lead up to the state election, following new report findings that the energy transition would create thousands of jobs in the Townsville region.
The report, commissioned by Queensland Conservation Council from Green Energy Markets, found that around 1,400 ongoing jobs in Townsville and nearly 11,000 ongoing jobs across Queensland will be created if the Sunshine State moves to 100% renewable energy.
If the transition progresses rapidly, 1,100 construction jobs would be maintained every year for ten years building solar, wind and storage projects in the Townsville region.
“The transition is already well underway because solar and wind energy backed by storage is the cheapest form of new-build energy generation and Queensland households are turning to solar in droves to cash in on the solar savings,” said Simon from North Queensland Conservation Council.
“The energy transition is a win-win for Townsville. It means cleaner air, a big boost to the economy and energy generated locally instead of coming up from the south.”
The report found it’s possible to make the transition to clean energy reliably with technologies that exist today, such as pumped hydro, battery storage, bioenergy, solar thermal and renewable hydrogen.
Volunteers from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) are backing the plan for more clean energy jobs and a safe climate future for Townsville’s youth.
“Townsville needs more good job opportunities for young people. This report shows how we can unlock those opportunities while creating a clean future for all of us,” said Matthew Garbutt from AYCC.
“Many of my friends have moved down south for work, but we can power more local jobs by utilising North Queensland’s incredible solar and wind resources.”
“We want our leaders to put the future of young people before fossil fuels by investing in more publicly-owned clean energy projects.”
Households and businesses across Queensland are continuing to turn to solar as a quick and easy way to reduce their electricity costs, with around 3,000MW already installed across the state. If current trends continue, the experts expect 8,000MW of rooftop solar will be operating in Queensland by 2040, which is almost three times the capacity of Australia’s largest coal-fired generator.
According to the groups, an abundance of cheap solar and wind energy will create further ongoing job opportunities in renewable manufacturing.
“Already there’s a battery storage manufacturing plant proposed for Townsville that would create 1,150 ongoing jobs. But this project could just be the tip of the iceberg,” said Stephanie Gray from Solar Citizens.
“There’s an emerging global market for minerals made with renewable energy and up here we have all the ingredients to kick-start these new clean energy industries.
“We should be using our abundant solar and wind to power tens of thousands of jobs in ‘green steel’ and renewable hydrogen.”
“It’s time for our politicians to put a plan in place to phase-out old, dirty energy and make the essential transition over to renewable energy,” says Claire Fryer, Campaigner at Queensland Conservation Council.
Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425543006