Queensland renewable energy sector booming

There are more renewable energy jobs in Queensland than in New South Wales for the first time in Australia’s history, new research has shown.

The latest edition of the Green Energy Markets’ Renewable Energy Index shows Queensland has overtaken New South Wales with 20 large-scale renewable projects, creating jobs for 5203 people, compared to 3426 in NSW.

Including rooftop solar system installation roles, there are just shy of 6500 Queenslanders working in the renewable energy sector –1772 more renewable jobs than New South Wales.

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the 20 Queensland projects were worth $3.4 billion and had a generating capacity of 1781MW.

“However, the broader pipeline of proposed projects is 40 projects worth $5 billion, with a generating capacity of 5297MW and 9245 jobs,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the report showed Queenslanders continued to embrace solar on their rooftops.

“In May this year, we announced that Queensland had officially become the solar state with figures confirming that combined solar rooftops are now Queensland’s largest power station – surpassing the 1680MW Gladstone Power Station,” he said.

“As at August 2017, there are over 450,000 residential customers with solar PV in Queensland. There is 1799MW of total solar PV installed on the network.

“We’re well on our way to meeting our target for one million Queensland rooftops with solar or 3000MW of total solar by 2020.”

Mr Pitt said the Electricity Statement of Opportunities recently released by AEMO confirmed that Queensland’s electricity supply remains secure and is predicted to meet peak demand in all forecast scenarios.

The monthly report also revealed there were 56 large-scale renewable energy projects under construction in Australia at the end of August.

These projects are estimated to create enough jobs to employ 11,941 people full-time for a year, up by 2044 on last month.

In August, Australia produced an amount of renewable energy equal to the power consumption of 8.2 million homes, or three quarters of all households in the country.

The index also showed 15,225 small-scale rooftop solar systems were installed in August.