AUSTRALIA could miss out on 20,000 potential jobs in the electricity sector under the Federal Government’s projections for the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), according to new economic modelling from Ernst and Young (EY).
The independent EY modelling, commissioned by the Climate Council, confirms there will be significantly fewer jobs in the national electricity sector under the NEG, compared to Australia’s current projected energy employment levels in the sector.
The ‘Renewable Energy Jobs: Future Growing in Australia 2017 Supplement’ report shows that the NEG’s low-end projection of 28 per cent renewable energy in 2030 would result in 6,600 fewer jobs in the entire electricity sector, compared to ‘business as usual’. In addition, the modelling indicates there would also be 20,000 fewer jobs, compared to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
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1. The Energy Security Board has projected that the NEG would result in 28-36% renewable energy by 2030. When compared to business as usual, 28% renewable energy in 2030 would mean:
- 6,600 less net jobs in the electricity sector than business as usual (8% lower employment). This reflects fewer jobs in large-scale wind and solar farm construction and operation.
- Less net jobs in the electricity sector in NSW (around 3,500), Queensland (around 600), and South Australia (around 300).
2. The NEG projection was also compared to 50% renewable energy by 2030, this is considered the minimum required for Australia to have a credible climate change policy. When compared to 50% renewable energy, 28% renewable energy in 2030 would mean:
- 20,000 less net jobs in the electricity sector compared with 50% renewable energy (32% lower employment). This reflects fewer jobs in large-scale wind and solar farm construction and rooftop solar.
- Less net jobs in the electricity sector in: New South Wales (around 9,000), Queensland (around 4,000), Victoria (around 2,800), South Australia (around 2,300) and Tasmania (around 300).
3. The 28% renewable energy NEG projection would result in negligible large-scale wind and solar construction from 2020 onwards.
- As large-scale renewable energy projects are generally located in regional and rural areas, these areas would be impacted the most. The modelling projected no new coal capacity constructed during the 2020s, with some additional gas capacity added during the late 2020s.