ABS: Employment in renewable energy falls

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15 March 2016: Employment in renewable energy activity fell by 3 per cent from 2013-14 to 2014-15 continuing a trend from 2011-12, according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication.

Mark Lound

Mark Lound, Australian Bureau of Statistics

ABS Director of Environmental Statistics, Mark Lound, said that the latest Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia publication examines levels of employment in renewable energy by state and territory and by type of renewable energy activities.
Figures reported in this edition capture a wider range of activities than covered in the previous estimates, including more comprehensive information on employment related to the generation of biomass energy.

“Annual full time equivalent (FTE) employment in renewable energy activities stood at 14,020 in 2014-15, down from 14,490 in 2013-14 and down from 19,120 recorded in 2011-12,” Mr Lound said.

“Solar energy (including roof-top solar PV, solar hot water and large scale solar PV) is the most significant source of employment among renewable energy activities. In 2014-15 annual FTE employment in solar was 8,310 or 59 per cent of total employment in renewable energy activities. Employment in solar energy peaked at 14,350 in 2011-12.”

“In recent years, the decline in renewable energy employment has been most marked in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Between 2011-12 and 2014-15 annual FTE renewable energy employment fell by 2,010 in Queensland (from 5,580 to 3,570, a fall of 36 per cent); by 1,420 in South Australia (from 2,360 to 940, a fall of 60 per cent); and by 1,130 in Western Australia (from 2,230 to 1,100, a fall of 51 per cent). For the same period, employment in renewable energy declined in Victoria by 880 (from 3510 to 2630, a fall of 25 per cent).”

“Between 2011-12 and 2014-15 employment in renewable energy increased in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory while it remained steady in Tasmania.”

Further details can be found in ABS Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia 2014-15 (cat. no. 4631.0), available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au

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