Renewables plan to create thousands of Gippsland jobs

Gippsland Green’s candidate; Michael Bond is enthusiastic at the prospect of the jobs bonanza wind energy could bring to Gippsland.

A recently released report called “Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan” outlines a plan to convert the nation's entire energy sector to renewable energy. It could be a blueprint for the Latrobe Valley’s future direction turning it from a coal based economy into a jobs-rich renewable energy region.

Gippsland Green’s candidate; Michael Bond says that Australia with its abundance of sunshine, consistent prevailing winds, miles of coastline and other renewable resources is well placed to be a world leader in these technologies. The Latrobe Valley’s existing infrastructure and skilled workforce would be an ideal place for manufacturing these renewable energy projects” he said.

The plan includes a mix of wind farms and concentrated solar thermal plants with molten salt storage to provide base load power. All are existing technologies that are commercially established in Europe, China and the US. Indeed, Spain is currently building approx 2GW (much more than the capacity of Hazelwood) of solar capacity and China is building and planning on having 100GW of wind power installed by 2020.That’s approx 75 “Hazelwoods” of wind power alone!  

“Unfortunately we are dragging the chain” Michael Bond says. “Thousands of desperately needed manufacturing jobs could be created for Gippsland if authorities embraced renewables. The problem is if we don’t take the lead soon, other countries such as China will have set themselves up as the experts in the field and will take these jobs,” he laments.

The plan forecasts that 80,000 jobs could be created in the construction of these plants, with 45,000 on-going permanent jobs in operations and maintenance. This compares with approx 20,000 that would be lost in coal and gas during the transition. “Not only would we have zero carbon emissions but we would have created 1000’s more jobs; I don’t know what we’re waiting for” he says.

The government has set a target of 20% renewables by 2020. The Greens are calling on the government to set a price on carbon and to step up to the plate on its renewable rhetoric. “With uncertainty over a carbon price, financiers won’t be willing to invest. If the government won’t set a carbon price, they need to replicate US President Barack Obama's offer to guarantee loans on renewable projects to kick off this energy revolution” Mr Bond states. For further details and to download the plan in full go to the Beyond Zero Emissions website at: beyondzeroemissions.org

For media and comment contact Michael Bond 0413 315 084  

 

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