Australian renewable energy jobs to surge in post-COVID-19 economic recovery: IRENA

Significant job growth in Australia and New Zealand’s renewable energy sectors will help to drive the recovery of the global economy from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

IRENA estimated that renewable energy investment in the post-coronavirus world could add AUS$160 trillion to the global economy in its first Global Renewables Outlook report.

The organisation projected that as many as 42 million people could be employed in the global renewable energy sector by 2050, with up to two thirds of this figure working in the Asia-Pacific region.

Renewable energy job growth in Australia and New Zealand could experience above average growth over the next three decades, expanding eight-fold to an almost 300,000 strong workforce mostly in the solar energy sector.

Employment in the solar sector alone could surge to 216,000 people by 2050, with strong growth also shown in the region’s energy efficiency (62,000 jobs), bioenergy (56,000) and wind (12,000) sectors.

This growth in the renewables sector would more than account for an inevitable contraction in the fossil fuel sector as the use of coal, gas and oil is gradually phased out in Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Australia’s clean energy industry bodies have called on the federal and state governments to include support for the renewable energy sector in economic stimulus measures.