More than eight million people are now employed across the globe in the renewable energy industry after another record-breaking year in renewables, a new report has found.
But in Australia, one in four renewable energy jobs have been lost since 2011.
Australia also failed to crack the top 10 for wind capacity and only just scraped into the top 10 for solar capacity, despite being the sunniest country in the world.
The REN 21: Global Renewables Status report also found:
- More renewable energy was installed globally in 2015 than ever before. A total of 147GW was installed in 2015- three times Australia’s total generating capacity
- Investment in renewable energy in 2015 surged to record levels, reaching $286 billion USD.
- China accounted for a third of the global total in new investment with developing countries surpassing developed countries in total renewable energy investments for the first time.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the report found renewable energy was cost-competitive with new fossil fuel power in places with good renewable energy resources and a secure regulatory framework.
“The really remarkable thing about these results is that they were achieved despite historically low fossil fuel prices and despite the fact that renewable energy remains at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies,” she said.
“It’s very clear that renewables are now a competitive and mainstream source of energy all over the world. But Australia’s policy settings are not well placed to seize these opportunities.
“Years of policy uncertainty have stalled our renewable energy progress and we need a secure policy environment and a clear, consistent long-term energy strategy and specific policy initiatives to attract new investment.”
In stark contrast to the global renewable energy boom, Clean Energy Council figures released on Tuesday show:
- Australian employment in renewable energy has been falling since 2011-12. 470 direct jobs were lost in renewable energy in the past year, and dropped by 5,000 jobs since 2011-12.
- Australian investment in renewable energy remains at around AUD 5 billion below 2011-12 levels.
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