The Australian Government’s plan for a clean energy future together with the South Australian Government’s policies supporting investment in renewable energy will create significant new job opportunities in SA’s manufacturing sector.
The federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet joined Premier Mike Rann in touring the RPG Australia plant in suburban Adelaide today where wind turbine towers are being manufactured for Vestas’ 420 megawatt Macarthur wind farm in south-west Victoria.
Mr Combet said the visit highlighted the economic benefits from growth in renewable energy including opportunities for manufacturing industry in developing and making components for the new clean energy technologies.
The Gillard Government’s plan for a clean energy future includes:
- Commercialisation and deployment of clean technologies through the commercially oriented $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation;
- Research, development and commercialisation of renewable energy at an early stage through the $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency;
- Research and development of clean technologies through the $200 million Clean Technology Innovation Program;
- Increased use of renewable energy through the carbon price and the Renewable Energy Target.
Mr Combet said the new Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s mandate would include investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies and supporting manufacturing businesses to re-focus on making the inputs for these sectors.
“The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will play a vital role in unlocking significant new private investment into clean energy projects and the supply chain that feeds into these projects,” he said.
“This may include assistance for businesses manufacturing components for clean energy projects.”
Mr Combet said the SA Government’s strong commitment to tackling climate change and its policies supporting renewable energy had positioned the State well to benefit from the historic transformation of Australia’s energy sector.
Premier Mike Rann said the South Australian Government is already investing in clean industry projects, with the transformation of the old Mitsubishi site at Tonsley Park into a hub for innovative companies in sustainable technologies, including cleantech and environmental industries.
“We are expecting Tonsley Park to attract $1 billion in private investment over 15 years, with up to 8600 people employed on the site and increasing Gross State Product by $400 million a year by 2026,” Mr Rann said.
“In South Australia, we are committed to increasing our use of renewable energy, and have achieved our target of having 20 per cent of electricity generated within the State coming from renewable energy, three years ahead of our own goal and nine years ahead of the rest of Australia.
“So we now have a new target of having 33 per cent of our electricity generation come from renewable energy by 2020.
“We are meeting these targets through legislation, such as the solar feed-in tariff, which is creating jobs in the solar industry.
“We’ve also streamlined the planning system for windfarms, that’s seen us go from having no wind turbines nine years ago, to hosting 54 per cent of the nation’s wind farm operating capacity – that’s seen massive investment in windfarms, creating jobs in construction and maintenance.
“With RPG in Kilburn, we see a company that has adapted to harness the opportunities of new green industries," Mr Rann said.
“Out of their workforce of about 100 people, 90 of them are working on wind-turbine tower production – an industry that didn’t exist here a decade ago.
“We are confident that a clean energy future for Australia will continue to create employment with new industries and investment opportunities.”