Fast-tracking the transition to renewable energy could create an extra 22,000 construction and installation job years in Queensland by 2030 compared with business as usual, according to community group Solar Citizens.
The group says its newly released report demonstrates the jobs that could be created in small and large-scale solar, wind and household batteries if Australia embraced stronger emission reduction targets.
“Turbocharging Queensland’s rollout of renewable energy could see a total of 44,000 clean energy job years created in the installation of solar, wind and distributed storage by 2030 as well as an additional 2,000 jobs in operations and maintenance,” Solar Citizens energy strategist Stephanie Gray.
“The move to cleaner energy is a no-brainer here in the Sunshine State. Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders are already seeing solar savings from their rooftop, and large-scale solar and wind projects are pushing ageing coal stations out of the market because they provide cheaper electricity.
“If we go beyond Queensland’s 50 per cent renewable energy target we’ll see a surge of regional clean energy jobs that will help communities rebound from the economic downturn.”
The modelling shows that stronger climate and renewable energy commitments from the federal and state government would likely drive additional renewable energy investment in the Darling Downs, Central and Far North Queensland, the group says.
The table below shows the job potential Solar Citizens says would be unlocked if each of Queensland’s Renewable Energy zones was developed to its capacity:
The report said a shortfall in transmission infrastructure was among the roadblocks stalling investments in new clean energy projects.
Among the actions Solar Citizens are calling for are Queensland to New South Wales Interconnector upgrades, augmentation to the northern Queensland network, and upgrade of the network from Central to Southern Queensland and reinforcemnt of the network around Gladstone.