The appetite for clean energy continues to gain global momentum, driven largely by investor interest in sustainable solutions and international governments have followed suite. But as these projects escalate industry experts warn labour scarcity would stunt the growth of WA’s renewable energy sector, causing project delays and limiting operating capacity.
Trends in Renewable Energy
- In 2020 Australia renewable energy was responsible for 27.7 per cent of its total electricity generation. 35.9% Wind, 23.5%Small-scale solar, 23.3% Hydro, 10.9% Large-scale solar, 5% Bioenergy and 1.4% Medium Scale Solar.
- The adoption of battery installation has been lagging in Australia due to return on investment (RoI). Initial cost to install the battery storage is still high for the return it provides.
In 2020 USA Biden administration has allocated 1.9 trillion for renewable technology, out of which 500 billion are allocated for PV Solar energy.
Western Australia Renewable Energy Trends
- Year 2020 was a good year in WA for the roof top grid connect solar and off grid power. The market grew despite COVID, as people invested more time in green technology. Clean State has proposed WA could run on 90% renewable energy by 2030, creating more than 8600 jobs.
- Currently 80% of Western Power energy is consumed by 3% of their customers. As network is widely distributed, Western Power has invested into Micro and Nano grid where customers are 1000Kms away from the current network.
- Meter run battery storage has been lagging behind the roof top grid connect PV solar install because of return on investment (RoI). Though manufacturing cost of the batteries has been dropping, WA has not got any battery scheme or rebate in place at this moment.
- 30% of roof in WA already has roof top solar. Due to this high penetration, Power network is not stable.
What are Renewable customers looking for?
- Customers are seeking warranty, reliability, product quality and features.
- Multifunction invertors with capability of adding battery storage later including off grid feature, are considered favourable.
- Fault finding and service response time, is valued high.
Some Inverter offers online platform where its technician gets the notice before customer, so the technician can visit site to fix the fault before it takes place.
Future Jobs in the renewable energy sector
Local renewable energy electricians and electrical trade assistants are already in short supply and demand for those roles are expected to soar in the coming years.
More than half of Australian businesses in the renewables sector have already felt this impact, with 55% having struggled to fill positions, according to a June 2020 report by the Clean Energy Council.
Emerging roles in this sector are:
- Electricians + Electrical Apprentices as Certified Installers
- Solar Invertor Technicians
- PV Solar Electrical Design Engineers
- Electrical wholesales + admin + marketing + finances
Is WA prepared to fill the surge of upcoming positions?
Interest in green energy solutions had piqued during lockdowns, but there was still a shortage of talent, which is expected to worsen. The upcoming WA mining boom will compete with the surge in the solar market for the same pool of certified electricians. This is likely to push up the Grid connect PV Solar System with Battery Storage design and install cost and cause interstate migration of skilled workforce.
There are number of providers for Solar Grid Connect PV Design + Install and Battery Storage For Grid-Connected PV Systems (Design & Install) in Western Australia. PMV offers this training in flexible model using online platform with support from Trainer over Zoom. Hands on practicals are offered at its facility in Booragoon, Karratha, and at our partner facility in Bunbury.
For further course information, or to book in, contact the office.