17 Nov CRICKETS AS RENEWABLE ENERGY JOBS “BOOM” GOES BUST
Despite heady estimates of a peak 45,000 renewable energy jobs across Australia by the mid-2020s, the sector is still only delivering Queenslanders a few hundred full-time jobs.
Answering a Question on Notice in Queensland Parliament, the Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen admitted to Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter that there were currently only about 446 full-time positions in Queensland renewable energy projects.
“The Premier has launched her $62 billion jobs and energy plan but has yet to press go on construction of the only shovel-ready project – CopperString – which would kick-start the $11 billion outback power Super Grid by connecting the North West Minerals Province to the national electricity grid,” Mr Katter said.
“The Government has set a target of 70 per cent renewable energy by the next decade but where are the high-paying jobs to support that goal going to come from?”
The Energy and Renewables Minister’s estimated job figures came from a Clean Energy Council report from June 2020, which estimated a peak of 45,000 renewable energy jobs across the country by the mid-2020s and higher job growth than the current coal sector.
However, a recent report from the Australian Industry and Skills Committee cast doubt on the projections, estimating coal industry jobs would jump to 67,500 by 2025.
Mr Katter said he feared the renewable energy jobs “boom” would prove to be a bust that never eventuated.
“Certainly this can be expected based on the trajectory we are on – billions of dollars poured into renewable energy in Queensland to date and so far we have 446 jobs and a highly unstable electrical network,” he said.
“While there is nothing wrong with bringing more renewables online, forcing taxpayers to subsidise them whilst refusing to invest in more stable, proven sources of power generation such as coal and gas, or even nuclear, is a very dangerous path.
“If we don’t chart a new course quickly, we will be paying for these policy failures very soon.”
Mr Katter said regional communities, where most coal and gas-fired power generators were situated, had been hung out to dry by Labor, Liberal and the Nationals.
Despite some overlap, the Clean Energy Council report predicted many renewable energy jobs in non-coal regions and capital cities with no direct correspondence with the largest category of coal mining jobs including drillers, miners and shot fixers.