Renewable energy jobs soar

Employment in the country’s renewable energy sector has surged in the 2017-18 period, lead by a massive increase of over 200% in the large scale photovoltaic solar sector.

The data, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows that the number of full time equivalent jobs in the rnewealbe energy sector grew a total of 28 per cent, or 17,740 jobs, over that 2017-18 financial year.

"Over this period, we saw large scale solar projects - systems with an installed capacity of 100 kilowatts or greater - overtake hydroelectric power to become the second largest creator of renewable jobs, accounting for 16 per cent of jobs," ABS Director for the Centre of Environment Jonathon Khoo said.

"However, rooftop solar continues to be the main driver of employment in the sector, accounting for 46 per cent of jobs in in 2017-18." "The increase in employment in large scale solar projects was mainly due to projects in the installation phase in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales along with continuing growth in rooftop solar panel installations." Queensland continued to have the largest renewable energy workforce, with an increase of 1,550 FTE jobs from 3,530 in 2016-17 to 5,080 in 2017-18. However, the largest percentage increase was seen in Victoria where employment in renewable energy increased by 47 per cent; an increase of 1,020 FTE jobs to bring the total to 3,180 FTE in 2017-18.

"Factors contributing to the growth in renewable energy uptake in Australia include a reduction in costs, greater interest in clean energy sources and the development of electricity storage technologies," Mr Khoo said.

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