Much of the discussion around the renewable energy transition taking place has focused on its physical implications. New generating capacity, significant investment, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions have been widely explored. What’s yet to go under the microscope in any great detail is the inevitable shifts in employment associated with the energy sector.
As with most economic and technology shifts, jobs will undergo a cycle of redundancy and creation. Some jobs will be easy to replace, while others will require re-training, upskilling or relocation. With Australia’s electricity market poised for a seismic move from fossil fuels to renewable electricity, decarbonising the sector is not without its challenges.
The Clean Energy Council commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology to undertake a survey of employment in renewable energy. The catalyst for the large-scale survey (the first of its kind), was to further understand the reported skills shortage and workforce planning challenges.
Using employment factors derived from these surveys, estimates of renewable energy jobs from 2020 to 2035 have been produced using three energy market scenarios:
“It’s clear that these renewable energy jobs can have an enormous positive impact on regional communities and should be a clear priority for government as part of the COVID-19 economic response,”
— Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton.
Future job roles will see an overlap between a range of professionals, trades and labourers within renewable energy and the coal sector. These include roles such as construction and project managers, engineers, electricians, mechanical trades, office managers and contract administrators, and drivers. The timing and location of these jobs will be a major factor in how easily they can be a realistic replacement for coal mining jobs.
Companies will likely need to invest in re-training to bridge the transition between sectors. For example, while drillers may be needed for pumped hydro construction, there is no match for much of the core mining workforce of semi-skilled machine operators. The combination of opportunity for jobs creation in renewable energy, and use of renewable energy in other industries, shows promising signs renewable energy can play a significant role in creating alternative employment to replace coal-based positions.
Sourcing and assigning resourcing industry professionals into specialist roles, we elevate existing capabilities to help you deliver projects safely, on time and on budget.
To get in touch, call us on 07 3607 6305 or email us at email@example.com