In mid-2019, the Clean Energy Council commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to undertake research to understand the size and characteristics of the Australian renewable energy workforce.
The renewable energy sector has seen rapid growth, with 2019 setting several new records. What often gets overlooked in times of expansion are the employment and career opportunities that are created by such activities. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) periodically publishes employment figures for renewable energy activities, but these are estimates based on secondary information rather than ABS surveys.
Through this industry-wide survey, employment factors were derived for the Australian development, installation, operation and supply chains of wind and solar energy, hydro and pumped hydro power, and batteries. These employment factors are applied to scenarios developed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in its 2020 draft Integrated Systems Plan (ISP) to estimate job creation into the future.
This report does not include the construction of electricity networks, professional services outside of renewable energy businesses, bioenergy or renewable hydrogen, end-of-life decommissioning, recycling or reuse (or mining of resources for renewable energy technologies such as lithium). The report only includes direct jobs in renewable energy generation and the associated supply chains, and does not include induced jobs in other parts of the economy.