Renewables = jobs | Environment Victoria

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Renewables = jobs

The myth perpetuated by the coal industry that renewables are the enemy of jobs is officially busted! Three times as many Victorians are employed in the solar industry as in coal.

One of these industries is fuelling climate change - one has a clean bill of health. It's not renewables versus jobs any more, renewables = jobs!



Source: Clean Energy Council 


Hazelwood (power station and mine) 540 Refers also to 300 "alliance contractors" Source
Loy Yang Power (power station and mine) 550 2/3 of these are shift workers Source
Loy Yang B 152 Also says up to 40 contractors employed Source
Yallourn (power station and captive mine) 216   Source: Annual report 
Anglesea Power Station  100 Says "around" 100 employees Source
Energy Brix Power Station 73   Source: Financial report.


We already know that renewables are cleaner and safer than coal. We know that they're inexhaustible. We now know that renewables are better for jobs than coal. 

While others make the switch to renewables, the State Government has banked Victoria's future on low-grade brown coal, making it harder to build a wind-farm than a coal-fired power plant, slashing support for solar and planning to allocate billions of tonnes of coal.

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Keep track of the coal industry's plans for expansion in Victoria at any cost with our CoalWatch resource >

Published: Mon, 12/11/2012 - 11:46 by Tom


Renewable energy

Does 'Anonymous' just want to keep a job and perhaps not really understand the need for renewable energy systems for future generations. It must start sometime and all new systems are dearer to start with til they become commonly used. Like the huge televisons, cars etc on sale nowdays. Please take the time to go check out all the facts. Sandi

Mon, 21/01/2013 - 10:12 — Anonymous -

Renewables will never be able to compeat with coal.

The myth is that renewables create more jobs than coal, The facts are that renewables create far less electricity production per dollar than coal, and far bigger power bills than coal.

Tue, 20/11/2012 - 15:23 — Anonymous -

 Hey, renewables create more

 Hey, renewables create more jobs than coal in Victoria (and in the USA). It's not a myth - it's a fact. Renewables do create less electricity but according to the IEA we need to keep 2/3 of the world's known coal reserves in the ground if we're to prevent the worst effects of global warming. That's why we need to look at alternatives to coal. One of the reasons coal is cheaper is because of the huge subsidies aritificially lowering the price of fossil fuels like coal. Remove these, subsidise renewables instead, and they will be competitive.

Wed, 21/11/2012 - 11:24 — Tom -

Minor errorg about notes to Loy yang.

Hey you have to remove the "part-time" reference, that's not what it says.

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 13:18 — Anonymous -

well that demonstrates why solar is so uneconomic.

The thing is, a good electricity system is supposed to employ LESS people. That means it's cheaper, which benefits all of us.

Don't get me wrong, the costs of all that CO2 (subscript!!) need to be accounted for, but I would prefer it if there were less people employed, making more energy. What you're in fact arguing for here is a really expensive electricity system, which costs us all. A good clean energy source isn't about jobs for jobs sake.

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 13:16 — Anonymous -

Your figures table has no credebility.

Your figuer for Hazelwood employed are totaly wrong for a start. The 540 employed are only in the power station , that figuer is not including the mine, and all the subcontractors. Hazelwood all in all employs over 2,000 people, and thats not including many more who supply the power station with maintanance materials continuosly all year round. If your hazelwood employed figuers are dodgy then so are the rest of your argument.

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 10:28 — Anonymous -

 Hey there, what is your

 Hey there, what is your source for that?

Wed, 21/11/2012 - 11:25 — Tom -

Hard facts thats my source

Hard facts, i work at Hazelwood and i know the system.

Sat, 01/12/2012 - 11:57 — Anonymous -

All that renewables create are huge power bills.Not jobs

Renewables are no job creators. Take wind turbines for instant, they create a few jobs for their manufacturers , and a few more jobs as they are being constructed, "but all these jobs are mainly for the most skilled people only". then thats it, jobs gone ,because they don't need anybody to operate them.The same thing goes for solar, the jobs they create are mostly in china where the solar pannels are made.All that renewables are creating are huge power bills, to pay for their enefficiency and to build their transmission lines from miles away to connect them to the grid.

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 09:57 — Anonymous -

Add wind Jobs

Why not add the wind and other renewable energy jobs, to come up with an even bigger total?

Wed, 14/11/2012 - 15:45 — Anonymous -


Here are the wind jobs... 

Wed, 21/11/2012 - 11:28 — Tom -

Thanks for your feedback

Thanks for your feedback. A few people are quite concerned about the superscript 2. It should be subscript. Rest assured, the superscript 2 has nothing to do with the jobs figures. The sources for those figures are all openly identified. 

Yes, solar is new! But it's already a huge jobs creator, which is the point of this infographic. According to Danny Kennedy, in the US there are 100,000 solar jobs vs 60,000 coal jobs. Solar's contribution to our energy mix is still small but it will continue to grow. And are we forgetting the mammoth in the room - coal is finite and burning it is fuelling dangerous climate change?


Wed, 14/11/2012 - 14:26 — Tom -

Can you get the slogan right?

Its an interseting slogan, quite neat... but my first reaction was just how well researched can such figures be if they don't even know how to write CO2? For chemical elements, the 2 should be a subscript, not a superscript. CO subscript 2 means 'Carbon Dioxide', CO superscript 2 means 'CO squared' a mathematical term, not chemical.

Tue, 13/11/2012 - 22:28 — Anonymous -

Yes but...

That's because solar is new, after all the panels have been put in not many jobs will be needed. With coal there is an ever ongoing high maintenance attach to it. (ie. oiling turbines, analysing steam pressures, working on a more efficient tweak) So it's a very unfair comparison. Solar should be supported though since it's green and increases the health of everyone.

Tue, 13/11/2012 - 17:38 — Anonymous -

Re: Just wondering

Re: Just wondering
At the moment solar's contribution is small (around 2% of Victoria's electricity generation) and coal is large (around 90%), but isn't the point that in cleaning up our energy supply we can create a lot of jobs and economic activity that doesn't harm the environment? Installed capacity for solar is growing very dramatically at the moment in Victoria, despite the best efforts of the Baillieu Govt to cut support for solar. As at the end of June this year 128,000 Victorian households had installed solar power. This is up from a few thousand just 2 years ago, and is starting to make it possible to retire coal. One of the factors that led to Yallourn mothballing one of its 4 units was falling electricity demand which is in part caused by the uptake of solar. So yes, coal remains dominant in terms of energy supply and its cooking our planet- that's precisely why we need to support solar power and other renewables.

Tue, 13/11/2012 - 17:08 — Anonymous -

Just Wondering

How much electricity do the 4800 solar workers produce per year? How much electricity do the 1631 coal worker produce per year?

Looking at the AEMO Reports it seems to be that coal produces around 100 times more energy than other group (which I believe includes solar).

Just wondering if there's any better numbers on this matter as while I would like to support the solar industry, if we require half a million people in victoria to supply us with enough solar energy to stop using coal, then it would seem very improbable.

Mon, 12/11/2012 - 18:23 — Anonymous -

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