Report shows Offshore wind would create thousands of good jobs

A new report shows offshore wind would create thousands of good jobs and provide a Just Transition for workers in the fossil fuel industries.

A report released this month about the potential of an offshore wind energy industry in Australia shows that it could create 8000 new jobs, with huge scope to transition workers from fossil fuel industries to renewable energy projects.

The Morrison Government is currently refusing to create fit-for-purpose legislation to facilitate the start of at least 18 major projects waiting in the wings.

Australia has high-quality, abundant offshore wind resources close to existing transmission infrastructure, including promising locations near areas with large industrial loads, such as Port Kembla, Newcastle, Gladstone, and south of Perth.

Produced by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre, which brought together expertise from the CSIRO, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, industry, and unions including the ETU, MUA, AWMU and ACTU, the research not only offers detailed analysis of the industry’s potential benefits but also outlines the necessary regulatory reforms.

The report also revealed that offshore wind would contribute to the grid by delivering a more diverse electricity supply that compliments other renewable energy sources, providing reliable power when solar and onshore wind is unavailable, along with delivering high-capacity factors and large-scale generation.

We urge action from the government to support the development of an offshore wind industry and the good quality jobs that it will create.

“Offshore wind farms have the potential to generate clean, cheap, reliable power that is close to existing electricity transmission infrastructure, large industrial users, and major population centres,” said ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks.

“Without a national plan for zero emissions and a Just Transition, The Morrison Government is just making it harder for many essential workers and communities in the fossil fuel industries to make the inevitable shift to the renewable energy sector.

“These projects are vital to efforts to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, but we need to ensure they come with jobs that offer equivalent security, wages and investment in education and training.

“We should respect and reward the workers in fossil fuel industries that have powered Australia for generations by supporting them as they make the much-needed transition to renewable industry jobs.”

From here the ETU will:

  • lobby states and territories to push the Commonwealth to act
  • further lobby the Department and the Government (plus ALP and cross-bench) for the introduction and passage of fit for purpose legislation to facilitate these projects going forward
  • continue our engagement with AEMO to get them to factor offshore wind into their energy system forecasting in time for the 2022 Integrated System Plan.

Read the report here

Watch the webinar about the report’s findings below.

This article was publised on 28 July 2021.