Replacing NSW coal plant with renewables would create thousands more jobs than gas, report says

Solar and wind could bring ‘jobs boom’ to regions that have previously depended on coal, Australian Conservation Foundation says

Replacing Australia’s largest coal-fired power station with renewable energy would create tens of thousands more construction jobs than replacing it with gas, a new analysis has found.

The Eraring coal-fired power station in the Lake Macquarie region of New South Wales is scheduled to close in 2025.

A new report by the Australian Conservation Foundation estimates if the electricity output of the station was replaced entirely with rooftop solar it would create 63,562 construction jobs.

The same amount replaced by solar farms would create 14,415 jobs and windfarms 13,339 jobs.

New fossil fuel generation lagged behind clean options, with gas creating the lowest number of construction jobs at 1,566. New coal-fired power plants would create an estimated 8,576 jobs.

The Eraring coal-fired power station in NSW is set to close in 2025.
The Australian Conservation Foundation says if the Eraring coal-fired power station’s output was replaced with rooftop solar it would create more than 60,000 jobs. Photograph: Dean Sewell/PR IMAGE