News | 18th Mar, 2013

Australian cleantech industry nears $30bn – bigger than car making

18 March 2013
Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy

The Australian cleantech sector boasts revenue of $29 billion a year and employs 53,000 people, making it larger than Australia’s automative manufacturing industry and one quarter the size of the country’s entire manufacturing sector.

A new study produced by research and advisory firm Australian CleanTech says an analysis of 1,340 Australian cleantech firms shows they were involved in capital transations totalling $1.3 billion in the 2012 calendar year in 126 separate capital transactions.

Australian Cleantech Review 2013 says the cleantech sector, which is defined as products and services that have both economic and environmental benefits, and includes renewable energy, water, waste and recycling, energy efficiency and carbon trading, employs five times as many people per dollar of revenue than general manufacturing. The big growth sectors were in solar, water, energy efficiency and green buildings.

NSW and Victoria were the most active states, with the water, wind, solar and environmental services sectors all generating more than $1 billion in revenue in the last calendar year. Queensland and WA had comparatively little cleantech activity because they focused on mining. Despite accounting for just 0.07 per cent of the total number of registered companies, just 0.7 per cent of the listed company market capitalisation and only 0.5 per cent of the working population, the cleantech sector generated 2.0 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2012, up from 1.8 per cent in 2011. 

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