Solar Farms will Help Create Thousands of Regional Clean Energy Jobs Media Release

Jun 20, 2011 - 8:00am

The independent Climate Institute says the construction and operation of Australia’s first two commercial-scale solar farms in Moree, NSW and Chinchilla, Queensland, will create thousands of jobs in those regions.

‘It is fantastic to see Australia’s world-class solar resource beginning to be unlocked,’ Policy and Research Manager, Will McGoldrick said.

Analysis by The Climate Institute shows that both Moree and Chinchilla have the potential to be major beneficiaries of the clean energy boom that is just beginning to emerge in Australia.

The Climate Institute’s study, Clean Energy Jobs in Regional Australia, shows clean energy projects, including solar farms, will see tens of billions of dollars invested in regional areas over the next 20 years.

For the New England Tablelands region, which includes Moree, the study found that renewable energy could create more than 1,700 new jobs, while close to 2,800 new jobs could be generated in South-East Queensland, including Chinchilla.

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‘Both these regions have massive untapped solar resources’, Mr McGoldrick said.

‘Across Australia, the current clean energy boom has the potential to dwarf the iconic Snowy Mountain Scheme in scale, level of investment and employment opportunities. Our research shows a net increase of nearly 34,000 jobs in Australia’s power sector overall by 2030.”

The NSW, Queensland and federal governments should be congratulated for investing in Australia’s world-class solar resource. However, the long-term viability of these investments depends on having the right policies in place.’

‘Crucially, Australia needs a price-tag on pollution alongside the Renewable Energy Target and innovative financing in order to make solar and other clean energy cheaper than more polluting energy sources, such as coal’, Mr McGoldrick said.

‘The good news is that these policies together can create tens of thousands of new jobs while helping to clean up Australia’s power sector which is the eighth dirtiest in the world.’

The Climate Institute’s studies can be downloaded below.

For further information please contact:
Will McGoldrick | Policy & Research Manager, The Climate Institute | (03) 9600 4039

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