Energy opportunities for the Central Coast

A new Blueprint Institute series of reports released yesterday take a deep dive into the regional realities of Australia’s shift to a clean energy future.

5 August 2022


ALONGSIDE the already released South-West Queensland paper, the report examined the Central Coast, along with four other regions. Across these five regions — home to all our remaining coal-fired generators, and most of our coal mines — the Blueprint analysis finds that while opportunities are abundant, and significant prospective projects are underway, uncertainty caused by a lack of definitive policy direction is hampering their development.


Nationally, there are 10,000 jobs dependent on coal-fired power generation, and a further 40,000 direct jobs tied to coal mining. The Blueprint analysis found that within the next three to seven years, across the five regions, renewables projects currently offer:


  • 24,660 short-term jobs in construction and installation, and


  • 2,600 permanent jobs in operations and maintenance.


This represents a significant opportunity, but also a stark reality check that government must do more to enable wider regional economic diversification in these communities.


Blueprint CEO David Cross said that expecting renewables alone to compensate for the stable, high-paying jobs that coal has provided is unrealistic.


“Our analysis finds that all of the regions studied are full of untapped potential that the clean energy economy, broad diversification, private investment, and targeted government backing in vital areas can unlock,” Mr Cross said.


“Regional Australians have been abandoned by politicians on both sides when it comes to climate policy. Coal’s demise is imminent, and politicians that stare bleary-eyed at coal’s heyday only drag the focus away from future opportunities and narrow the window for our regions to secure long-term prosperity. But setting blue-sky targets without presenting clear plans to communities on the ground also doesn’t help and hinders investment”.


The Central Coast report found that between 2022 and 2025, new renewable projects could offer 5,080 construction jobs, and 320 ongoing maintenance and operations positions.

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