In recent years, climate change and the preservation of the environment have become major topics of debate in Australia. This issue has come to the forefront, as Australia has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, due to our economic reliance on agriculture and the export of non-renewable resources, and the prominence of our coast and natural environment. For the most part, it seems as though Australia is listening to the warning of climate change experts, as the green movement has grown in prominence. One of the most notable shifts, is the move towards renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.

Australia’s natural landscape and weather patterns make it ideal for the generation of several forms of renewable energy. According to the Clean Energy Council’s Clean Energy Australia Report (2017), sources of renewable energy in Australia include: Hydro (33.9%) Wind (33.8%) Small-scale solar (20.3%) Bioenergy (9.7%) Large-scale solar (1.8%) Medium-scale solar (0.5%) Solar thermal (0.1%)

Presently, Australia’s potential for the generation of renewable energy is largely untapped, however attitudes are changing and there is a growing consensus to build a more sustainable future for Australians.

Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects

In order for Australia to make a more meaningful shift towards renewable energy, and dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, it is important that funding is funnelled into the establishment of large-scale renewable energy projects. Currently, just over 18% of electricity is generated from renewable sources. The creation of more large-scale renewable energy farms, particularly solar and wind, will significantly boost the availability of affordable and reliable renewable electricity for all Australians, and hopefully make it a more viable option than fossil fuels. For this to happen, large-scale renewable energy projects will require a significant commitment of funding from both federal and state governments, as well as the creation of policies to encourage the energy shift.

The two most significant government initiatives promoting the development of large-scale renewable energy are the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme, and the Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC). The basic aims of these initiatives are to incentivise the creation of large-scale renewable energy projects and provide some of the funding required for it to come to fruition. It is important to note that funding may not necessarily be granted to specific large-scale renewable energy projects, but it may also be invested into developing related technologies and innovations.

All in all, Australia’s renewable future does look promising with over 10 gigawatts of solar and wind power to be installed during 2018-2019, which puts Australia on the right track to producing 50% of electricity from renewables by 2025. It is essential that this momentum is maintained, so that more environmentally-friendly sources of energy, such as wind and solar, become the norm.

Some large-scale renewable energy projects that are currently underway or in the pipeline, include: Cultana Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Coopers Gap Wind Farm Lal Lal Wind Farm Moorabool Wind Farm Stockyard Hill Wind Farm Sunraysia Solar Farm Limondale Solar Farm Bulli Creek Solar Farm Haughton Solar Farm

Solar & Wind Farms

Large-scale solar and wind farms comprise the bulk of new developments, and will most likely be the main sources of sustainable electricity in the future. It is estimated that $20 billion has been invested into 80 solar and wind projects across Australia, that are under construction or about to commence. It is important to note that this $20 billion investment is in addition to the $6 billion of wind and solar projects that are already completed.

These sources of sustainable energy are favoured, as Australia’s conditions are conducive for high production of wind and solar electricity. According to Geoscience Australia, of all the continents in the world, Australia has the highest solar radiation per square metre. Wind is also a popular option for large-scale renewable energy projects, as Australia has some of the highest wind energy potential. Australia’s wind energy resources are mainly located near the coast of western and southern Australia, and around the Bass Strait.

Solar and wind energy seem to be the preferred sources for large-scale projects, as they hold enormous potential for the creation of reliable electricity. To meet government targets and reduce our fossil fuel consumption, solar and wind farms are predicted to continue to attract heavy investment.

Employment Benefits of Renewable Energy

Aside from the obvious environmental benefits that greater renewable energy use will bring, renewable energy will also help to boost employment opportunities throughout Australia, particularly in rural/regional communities. Greater demand for renewable energy will mean more construction jobs, as well as roles associated with the maintenance and upgrade of these large-scale renewable energy farms. The increased employment opportunities that come with the development of more large-scale renewable energy projects, will help Australia’s economy grow, improve local economies and the quality of life in regional and rural communities, increase financial independence, reduce unemployment, and so on.

Jobs that will experience greater demand, due to the rise in large-scale renewable projects, include: Electricians Electrical Trade Assistants Skilled Labourers General Labourers Foremen Engineers Site Supervisors Project Managers

Investment in large-scale renewable energy projects, especially in solar and wind farms, is only expected to increase in the foreseeable future. These large-scale renewable energy projects not only bring about hope for a more sustainable future, but also boost economies and increase employment opportunities.

At Workfast Labour Hire, we are the experts in supplying renewable energy projects with workers that possess the specialised skills and experiences required to get the job done. Our extensive database allows our labour hire recruiters to quickly and easily connect you with fully-vetted and reliable labour hire workers all over Australia. So no matter where the renewable energy project is in Australia, we can help you out! To get started with us at Workfast Labour Hire and receive labour hire staff when you need them, call 1300 824 403 or fill out our online Labour Hire Staff Request Form today!