Dead RET talks take serious toll
Official figures show the renewable energy sector has lost almost 2,500 jobs in the last two years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says job numbers in the sector peaked between 2011 and 2012 at 14,890, and have now fallen by 15 per cent to 12,590.
The sector has been decimated by uncertainty on the Renewable Energy Target (RET), and industry groups say investment in clean technology has dwindled to almost nothing.
Major parties remain in a standoff over how much to cut from the RET by.
The Government recently rejected a proposal for a 33,500 gigawatt hour target, which was supported by Labor and the Clean Energy Council
The current target was set at 41,000 gigawatt hours, but the Government wants the obligation reduced to less than 32,000 gigawatt hours.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics' report into renewable energy employment showed that Government policies are bringing job levels in the sector by way of taxes, subsidies and pricing policies.
“Uncertainty over the future of the RET, or over the size of the renewable power percentage, is likely to have a flow on effect on future investment in renewable energy infrastructure,” the report said.
“Since 2011-12 all mainland Australian states have experienced a decline in annual direct [full time equivalent] employment in renewable energy activities.
“The largest such fall was in Queensland, where employment fell by 34 per cent from 3,820 to 2,520 between 2011-12 and 2013-14.
“For the same period, Western Australia experienced a fall of 920 (from 1,740 to 820), or 53 per cent.”