February 20, 2018 / News
Australia - the land of wide, sweeping plains and almost perpetual sunshine. Not only have these factors made Australia a popular tourist destination, but it has also created the perfect conditions for renewable energy to thrive. Australia is currently experiencing a renewable energy boom, with a number of large-scale solar farms and renewable energy projects currently under construction, or in the pipelines. This huge surge in investment into clean energy will allow Australia to harness the potential of its abundant wind and sun, and pave the way for this country to become a world leader in renewable energy.
According to the Clean Energy Council of Australia, in 2017 alone, at least 52 renewable energy projects had been funded, were being constructed or had been completed. Currently, over 18% of Australia's power is supplied by clean energy, thanks in part to the contribution of these projects. This sets Australia on the right track to achieving its renewable energy target (RET) of sourcing 23.5% of Australia's power, or 33,000 gigawatt hours, from renewable energy by 2020.
In terms of the composition of renewable energy in Australia, hydro, wind, and small-scale solar PV are the top three sources, contributing 42.3%, 30.8% , and 16% respectively. The Clean Energy Regulator has defined a small-scale solar PV as solar panels installed on homes and businesses that doesn't produce more than 100 kilowatts. The prominence of small-scale solar PV can be attributed to the success of solar rebates, bonuses and schemes that encouraged people to adopt this cleaner form of energy.
Although large-scale solar PV occupied fifth place in the 2016 Clean Energy Report, it is quickly gaining traction with a number of solar farms going ahead or being proposed. In NSW alone 10 solar farm projects have been approved for construction in 2017. These solar farms are expected to produce approximately 1,200 megawatts of power, and effectively reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 million tonnes.
The Australian Renewable Energy Index found that once the wind and solar projects that were under construction in 2016-17 are completed, they will generate enough power to run 90% of Australian homes. With even more wind and solar projects pending approval or to be constructed in 2018, a future where renewable energy is Australia's main source of power is not too far-fetched.
Renewable Energy Fuelling A Boom in Jobs
With 4,417 megawatts of renewable energy projects currently underway in Australia, 15,691 people have been employed. The large-scale nature and growing abundance of these projects have created jobs in the construction, operation and maintenance of renewable energy installations. As the use of renewable energy becomes more mainstream, this industry is expected to prosper and continue to inject jobs into the labour market. Since large-scale renewable energy projects are based in remote locations, Australia's regional towns will be the main winners. This will help to breathe new life into the communities that these renewable energy projects will be situated near, and boost the local economies. The continued popularity of small-scale solar PV installations have also successfully created jobs in more urban areas. The jobs that are the most in demand will include construction workers, project directors, civil site engineers, plant operators, and so on.
With bipartisan support for a shift towards the increased adoption of clean energy, investment is predicted to continue to grow, making it a fertile industry for future job growth and opportunities.
Are you an employer looking for quality workers to assist with a renewable energy project or a job seeker looking for work in the renewable energy field? Contact Workfast Labour Hire today! Call 1300 824 403 or visit our website.