Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – jobs growth with renewable energy

green-collarRenewable jobs grow as ACT drives down emissions from government operations by 17 per cent in three years, Canberra Times, Katie Burgess, 13 Dec 16,  Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change has revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

Ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting on Wednesday, climate change minister Shane Rattenbury said he would push other states and territories to take up their own renewable energy targets.

“We must not allow the federal government’s inaction to limit what we can achieve at a state and territory level. The ACT is a great example of what subnational governments can achieve. We are on track to meet our 100 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020 and to become Australia’s first zero emission jurisdiction by 2050,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Emissions from government operations have fallen 17 per cent since 2012-2013, the report also revealed. The ACT government is aiming to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2020……http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/renewable-jobs-grow-as-act-drives-down-emissions-from-government-operations-by-17-per-cent-in-three-years-20161213-gta1ha.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | ACT, employment, energy | Leave a comment

Jobs in a clean energy future

  http://apo.org.au/resource/jobs-clean-energy-future

25 October 2016   Download file

The Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions have come together to show we can steer our economy to create a fair society in which all living things can thrive.

By committing to the Paris Agreement, the world recognised the need to work together to keep global warming well below 2 degrees. Around the world, other governments are embracing the opportunities of transitioning to a clean energy future. But at home, Australia’s pollution continues to rise and Australia remains as one of the biggest per capita polluters in the world. There is still no coherent national plan to transition Australia to a net zero emissions economy.

Jobs in a clean energy future updates our 2010 collaboration Creating Jobs – Cutting Pollution and demonstrates, yet again, that creating a brighter future for the Australian community and our environment go hand in hand.

This report presents a clear choice. If Australia continues with business as usual, pollution will continue to rise and the health of the people and our natural world will continue to deteriorate. If the government acts now and implements policies under a strong action scenario we can create one million more jobs by 2040. People and nature will be better off and the places we love will thrive. If we increase public transport and clean energy Australia’s cities, towns and regions will be more liveable, smarter and healthier places to live. By embracing these opportunities Australia can be a world leader and create jobs and industries that are at the forefront of the transition.

October 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy | Leave a comment

Banks ready to back big solar projects: renewable energy jobs on the rise

piggy-ban-renewablesgreen-collarBanks looking even closer at backing big solar projects: Clean Energy Council, Brisbane Times, Tony Moore , 8 Sept 16,  Australian banks will invest more heavily in solar energy projects within the next 12 months, Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said after Thursday’s announcement that 12 new solar farms Australia-wide had been backed by $100 million from the federal government.

The federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency on Thursday announced 12 large-scale solar projects – six in Queensland – had received federal support.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said improved efficiencies had meant solar energy producers were getting much more bang for their funding buck than they were even two years ago. “In 2014, the grant funding needed for large-scale solar projects was $1.60 a watt,” Mr Frischknecht said.”In 2015, this dropped to 43 cents at the EOI stage of ARENA’s $100 million large-scale solar funding round; and to an average of 28 cents in June 2016 when full applications were submitted,” he said.

“The average requirement of the projects we are taking forward today is an incredible 19 cents a watt.”

Mr Thornton said solar projects would soon begin to rely less on federal government for funding to begin operations. “We really at the threshold of saying that once we see another round of these of these projects  we are going to see the costs decline to the point when they are built on their own, without the government support,” he said. “I think it is months, if not maybe a year or so, before we can expect them to go ahead without further funding.”

Mr Thornton said banks were now closely examining the viability of investing more heavily in solar and renewable energy projects in Australia.

The first major investment in solar energy by Australian banks came in 2013 when NAB and ANZ invested in a 20 megawatt solar plant in Canberra. More investment in solar plants followed, while banks have questioned some large new coal projects……….

Mr Thornton said scale of new solar farm plants was lowering production costs to the point where it was “cost comparative’ with coal and gas.

Mr Thornton said it was now time to begin training workforces that worked in traditional energy supply companies to work in renewable energy. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/banks-looking-even-closer-at-backing-big-solar-projects-clean-energy-council-20160908-grc5ol.html

September 10, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, employment, solar | Leave a comment

Australian govt’s cuts to clean energy will mean loss of many CSIRO jobs

Turnbull destroys renewables120 CSIRO jobs face the axe if clean energy cuts go through, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/120-csiro-jobs-face-the-axe-if-clean-energy-cuts-go-through-20160831-gr5hxc.html  Noel Towell, 31 Aug 16 

More than 120 research jobs at the CSIRO face the axe if the Coalition’s proposed cuts to the clean energy research agency are approved by Parliament.

The threatened jobs come on top of scores of university science positions on the chopping block if the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is de-funded as part of the government’s “budget repair” omnibus bill currently before the Parliament.

The new threat to CSIRO research comes less than a month after Science Minister Greg Hunt instructed the organisation to renew its focus on climate science, claiming it would be a “bedrock function” of the agency’s activities.

Fairfax reported on Wednesday that Australia’s leading renewables researchers were warning the nation was heading towards the “clean energy valley of death” if the ARENA cuts are passed. Continue reading

September 2, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy, politics | Leave a comment

The critically important work of Australia’s indigenous rangers

Indigenous rangers play a silent and undervalued role as leaders and educators in their communities, role models for how to progress in both worlds. It’s important to provide local, challenging, culturally relevant, real jobs to keep these leaders embedded within the fabric of their families and communities.

They need a commitment beyond 2018 that their real jobs will still exist.

[The video below does not apply to The Numbulwar ranger group, but still gives an example of the kind of work that they do]

Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program

Are Indigenous rangers engaged in ‘real jobs’? The answer is simple, Guardian , 22 July 16 

As well as protecting the land, Indigenous rangers play an undervalued role as leaders in their communities. It’s never been more important to protect these jobs. Many conservative politicians and commentators argue Indigenous ranger jobs are not “real jobs”. This is perfectly illustrated by the recentleaking to Crikey of a secret federal Coalition government plan to radically change this successful Indigenous ranger program in order to “get participants into employment”. While the minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion has denied he is planning an overhaul of the program, his government has not made a commitment to fund the program beyond 2018.

This question of whether ranger jobs are “real jobs” can easily be put to rest.

The Numbulwar ranger group in Arnhem Land was re-established in November 2015, Continue reading

July 23, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, employment, environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Sourcing half of Australia’s electricity from renewables would create more than 28,000 Australian jobs

green-collarRenewables Could Boost Australian Employment by 50% – NFP Report http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/06/renewables-boost-australian-employment-50-nfp-report/

Sourcing half of Australia’s electricity from renewables would create more than 28,000 Australian jobs, half of which would be in solar, according to new Not for Profit research.  The Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth report, by Ernst and Young (EY) and the Climate Council, found that building 50 per cent renewables by 2030 would boost employment by almost 50 per cent more than if Australia stayed on its current trajectory.

The report found that if Australia aimed for at least 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 more than 11,000 additional jobs would be created in New South Wales, more than 6,000 in Queensland, around 4,000 in Victoria, more than 3,600 in South Australia, almost 2,000 in Western Australia and more than 500 in Tasmania.

The report said that most states would see around half of all jobs in 2030 from rooftop solar PV (photovoltaics) systems and in Tasmania and NSW rooftop solar PV jobs would comprise around 25 per cent. Continue reading

June 17, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy | Leave a comment

Could renewable power be Port Augusta’s saviour?

green-jobs

THE “dominoes” are lined up for Port Augusta to switch from coal-fired to solar thermal power generation and advocates are urging governments to summon the “political will” to secure the project….(subscribers only) 
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/solar-thermal-power-push-to-keep-jobs-in-port-augusta/news-story/dd0e42df6d28e5e0bb5959966ac676be

February 29, 2016 Posted by | business, employment, South Australia | Leave a comment

Report shows opportunity for clean energy jobs worth $370 bn

Australian clean energy jobs could be worth $370 bn in 10 years http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/australian-clean-energy-jobs-could-be-worth-370bn-in-10-years-39526   By  on 29 September 2015 Australia’s renewable energy industry could generate $370 billion worth of jobs over the next 10 years using current technology, a new report has found. The report, released on Tuesday by Beyond Zero Emissions, aims to illustrate how Australia can transition from coal-fired power to renewables, shifting the economy along with it.

“Our research with Melbourne University into energy generation in Australia shows that we can create $370 billion of green energy jobs with current technology, instead of using coal-fired power stations,” said Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Stephen Bygrave.

green-jobs

When you add to this smart homes and buildings, as well as low-carbon land use, high speed rail and electric vehicle options, the green jobs climb towards $1 trillion dollars in value, Dr Bygrave says.

The report’s findings coincide with a new policy proposal from the Greens that calls for a levy to be imposed on coal mining companies to help pay for the transition away from fossil fuels, including for the rehabilitation of retired mines and retraining workers for clean energy jobs.

BZE is also set to launch a new book on October 2, at the Smart Future Cities Conference showing how easily existing Australian homes can be retrofitted to eliminate electricity and gas bills – a follow-up to its Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan, that was researched over 3 years.

“The Buildings Plan showed that all residential and commercial buildings in Australia could be converted to generate as much energy as they consumed, creating $270 billion of green jobs in the construction industry,” Bygrave said.

“The new book, The Energy Freedom Home, shows how every home can produce more energy than it consumes. And with rising electricity and gas prices and falling rooftop solar prices, Australian households can affordably revolutionise the way they power their homes.

“Our research shows that millions of ordinary Australian homes can be transformed to be high performing, comfortable and cheaper to run. The transformation is easy since 1.4 million homes already have rooftop solar.”

To illustrate their theory, BZE along with the University of Newcastle have retrofitted a brick veneer family home in North Lambton, Newcastle, that was originally built in 2000.

The retrofits, which began in 2009 and are based on the guidelines provided by the Energy Freedom Home program now save the household $1,200 a year on power bills, with credits during the year. By 2013 the house was transformed into a comfortable, passive solar house, generating more energy from the PV system in the year than it uses.

“We removed the gas systems for health, safety and cost reasons, and have found we use less energy now than when we had both electricity and gas,” said the house’s owner, who monitors it for energy, water, temperature and humidity.

As part of the Smart Future Cities conference, the home in North Lambton will be open on 10am and at 10:30am on Saturday 3rd October for free limited tours.

October 1, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, employment, energy | Leave a comment

South Australia faces job losses if Renewable Energy Target is cut

Map-South-Australia-windgreen-collarRenewable Energy Target: Conservation Foundation warns cut would threaten potential SA jobs http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-20/acf-warns-against-renewable-energy-target-cut/6405544 The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says South Australia could lose up to $6 billion worth of investment, if the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is reduced.

The Federal Government wants to cut the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to less than 32,000 gigawatt hours by 2020.

The foundation’s energy analyst, Tristan Knowles, said leaving the target as is would have huge benefits for South Australia.

“The bigger picture here if the RET isn’t weakened is that there’s 10 wind projects across South Australia that have been approved and the investment potential for those is about $6 billion and if they went ahead there’d be over 6,000 construction jobs and 31 ongoing jobs,” he said.

“So there’s a lot of potential.”

“South Australia was the only state that saw a drop between 2009 and 2014, so if these projects go ahead, they will generate jobs in construction and in ongoing maintenance and operations.”

April 22, 2015 Posted by | employment, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory a winner for renewable energy jobs

ACT renewable energy jobs soar in past five years April 14, 2015  Canberra Times Reporter The number of jobs in the ACT renewable energy industry has increased by more than 400 percent over the past five years, the largest increase in Australia.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released earlier this week, 630 people were employed by the renewable energy industry last year with 480 employed by the government or non-profit institutions and 150 in solar power.

green-jobs

But while the ABS figures indicated a growth in ACT employment they revealed more than 2000 jobs had been lost in the industry nationwide over the past two years.

Some 12,590 people were employed full-time in the wind, solar and other renewable energy industries last year down from almost 15,000 two years earlier…….

In late 2013, the ACT government legislated a 90 percent renewable energy target for the territory by 2020 drawing praise from the Climate Council as a welcome contrast to federal uncertainty. …………

Mr Antflick  Elementus Energy manager director Ashleigh Antflick,said he expected the solar farm, which will be relocated from a proposed site near the Uriarra village to beside the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale, to be a long-term stable employer of skilled labour in the ACT.

“We are looking at working with a number of tertiary education institutions in the territory to be part of their skills programs for undergraduate and technical training programs,” he said.

Mr Antflick said the ACT government and broader community were supportive or major solar power investments despite a concerted public relations campaign from Uriarra villagers to relocate the solar farm.

“There is a pretty clear understanding by territorians of the broader climatic benefits of solar energy and I think broad support for doing something to make a positive contribution to climate change,” he said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-renewable-energy-jobs-soar-in-past-five-years-20150414-1mku8a.html

April 15, 2015 Posted by | ACT, employment | Leave a comment

Australia loses jobs as the Abbott government attacks renewable energy

green-collarBy leaving the current target in place and providing an assurance that they support renewable investment the government could make a tangible and significant step to help restart an industry that will stimulate employment.

Renewable energy is popular, and job growth is essential. Committing to the existing Renewable Energy Target would be a good first step for policy makers on all sides to show they are serious about creating Australia jobs rather than fighting ideological battles.

Jobs and investment on the line as eco-dogma abounds  http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/17/comment-jobs-and-investment-line-eco-dogma-abounds The federal government’s ideological stance against the environment threatens investment and jobs.
By Matthew Rose  Current unemployment figures demonstrate the Australian economy is struggling to create jobs. Unemployment has risen to 6.4% – the highest it has been since 2002.  Alarmingly, youth unemployment is at its highest level since 1998.

This is occurring while renewable energy companies such as TrustPower, Infigen Energy and Pacific Hydro are suspending further investments in Australia because of the uncertainty around the RET. Continue reading

February 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment | Leave a comment

Melbourne and Moree get new solar businesses and employment openings

Spanish renewable energy firm sets up Melbourne-based subsidiary, THE FIFTH ESTATE 23 September 2014 Spain’s Elecnor Group has ignored the current political climate in Australia’s renewable energy sector and launched an infrastructure subsidiary based in Melbourne. ……..

Elecnor Australia’s first project is the $164 million solar photovoltaic farm in Moree, New South Wales for the Moree Solar Farm Company Pty Ltd, part of Fotowatio Renewables Venture. The joint venture originally included Pacific Hydro, which announced in August it was withdrawing from the project due to the policy-driven uncertainties impacting the renewable energy industry.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has contributed $101.7 million towards construction and operation of the project, and $47 million has been provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Covering 191 hectares, the farm will comprise 232,960 panels with a forecast annual output of 150 gigawatt-hours direct into the main energy grid, enough to power about 15,000 homes. It is expected to be complete and commissioned by the second quarter of 2015.

solar-farming

In a media statement, Elecnor said Australia will be a base for it to expand operations in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on developing business infrastructure and renewable energies………

The Moree project has already created a number of positions to be based at the town, with the firm earlier this month advertising for an assistant project manager (engineer), a construction manager, six technical engineers as sub-contract supervisors, mechanical and electrical engineers, a civil engineer, two draftpersons, accounts and administration, purchasing and logistics.http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/business/investment-deals/spanish-renewable-energy-firm-sets-up-melbourne-based-subsidiary/67877

September 27, 2014 Posted by | business, employment, New South Wales, solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

Slashing of Renewable Energy Target will mean loss of thousands of rural jobs

Abbott-destroyerRenewables energy suppliers warn on RET jobs http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/9/19/policy-politics/renewables-energy-suppliers-warn-ret-jobs 19 SEP,

Suppliers working on Australia’s renewable energy projects say many thousands of jobs will be lost – most of them in rural and regional areas – if the federal government slashes the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Forty small and medium businesses from around Australia have jointly written to the government, urging it to retain the current policy, rejecting the recommendations of the recent Warburton review to shut down or severely reduce the RET.

“We are writing as suppliers to Australia’s renewable energy industry, which has now generated more than $10 billion worth of investment in large-scale renewable energy projects,” the companies said.

The companies (listed at bottom) between them operate across all Australian states and territories.  “Our businesses build electrical infrastructure, roads and components for power stations in wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy, along with supplying safety equipment, cranes, trucks and cement.

“They provide catering, cleaning services, security, logistics and accommodation to construction teams, manage environmental and cultural heritage plans, and supply many other essential inputs to the renewable energy industry.

“While the industry directly employs 21,000 people, our companies collectively employ many thousands more as a result of the clean energy sector.”

The companies, whose sizes range from 1 to 2000 employees, said Australia’s 68 wind farms, 49 large-scale solar projects, 139 bioenergy projects, 123 hydro projects and trial marine and geothermal projects had provided the incentive to grow and employ more workers.

“Many of these jobs are in rural and regional areas where other job opportunities are scarce,” they said.

“We have hired and trained workers and invested in our businesses on the basis of the development of renewable energy in Australia. Maintaining the RET in its current form will help us continue to create jobs and opportunities for Australian workers,” they wrote.

The companies also referred to analysis undertaken by ACIL Allen for the Federal Government, which found that retail electricity prices will be lower over the long term if the RET is maintained, as it will help shield Australians from rising gas prices.

“This is beneficial to all Australians, consumers and businesses alike,” the companies said.

Signatories: ………

September 20, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment | Leave a comment

Uranium industry not economic for Mt Isa, and fraught with environmental problems for Queensland

bull-uncertain-uraniumUranium debate heats up in Mount Isa  Queensland labour senator Jan McLucas says the state’s uranium deposits are too small to warrant developing the industry ABC Rural  By Virginia Tapp, 1 May 14

“These mines at Valhalla and Westmoreland are not huge deposits, they will not employ large numbers of people like Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Century have done.

“These are small mines and I don’t think they are the answer to the question of employment in the Mount Isa region.”…….Senator McLucas also claims there is not enough information about managing uranium mines in areas that experience intermittent periods of very high rain fall and flooding.

She says parts of the abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine, situation between Mount Isa and Cloncurry, are still radioactive.

Mary-Kathleen-Uranium-mine-

“The residents of Mount Isa are still living with the results of that mine and the inadequate capping of the spoil and the contamination of the land that even graziers today won’t go near.”…….

[Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection joint statement] ……”We are still assessing the condition of the Mary Kathleen site and looking at whether it could be mined again in the future.

“Contamination issues at the site may not have been properly addressed in the past.”…..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-01/uranium-debate-queensland/5423232

May 2, 2014 Posted by | employment, environment, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Destruction of Renewable Energy Target would destroy 1000s of solar jobs

Abbott-destroys-renewablesThousands Of Australian Solar Jobs Threatened http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4147 28 Jan 14 If those who wish to see Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) abolished get what they want,  up to 6,750 solar PV jobs could be lost and foregone nationwide in less than 5 years.

The grim prediction comes from REC Agents Association (RAA) in a report due to be released on Wednesday.

“If the Renewable Energy Target is axed, 2,000 jobs could be lost straight away and thousands of new jobs would not be created”, said Fiona O’Hehir, Vice-President of RAA and CEO of Greenbank Environmental, who commissioned the analysis.

“Axing the RET is on the Government’s agenda and they need to understand this would have a diabolical impact on jobs, industry and the hundreds of thousands of Australians who want to put solar on their homes.”

The RAA report states the solar industry employed around 17,000 Australians in 4,300 small and medium sized businesses last year.  Continue reading

January 29, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment | Leave a comment