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Renewables backed in the regions but the young fear for their jobs


Young regional Queenslanders appear to be turning away from supporting renewable energy because of perceived threats to their jobs, according to a survey by a solar energy lobby.

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The Solar Citizens survey of 1000 regional Queenslanders also found 52 per cent supported a transition to renewables, but this level dropped to 45 per cent when a 15-year time frame was proposed and fell to about a third of people when a 10-year time frame was proposed. Overall, 61 per cent said it should happen within 20 years.

Solar Citizens energy strategist Stephanie Gray said while there was an obvious appetite for more clean energy, younger people in regional areas were the most reluctant to transition our power supply.

She said the 18 to 34 age bracket consistently showed weaker support than older generations.

“I think this demonstrates that governments are not doing enough to show young people what the jobs of the future look like. There are actually really exciting economic opportunities that regional Queensland can benefit from as the world transitions to cleaner energy and electric transport,’’ Gray said.

“The energy transition doesn’t mean that Queensland will stop being a global energy powerhouse, we’ll just be producing a different kind of energy.

“Queensland is blessed with some of the world’s best solar resources, which can be turned into cheap and abundant energy to power renewable hydrogen production, and more local manufacturing and minerals mining.

“Just around Townsville there are already several proposals to build renewable hydrogen facilities, battery manufacturing hubs and chemical processing plants underpinned by cheap, clean energy.”

About 20 per cent of electricity generation in Queensland is currently from renewables and the State Government has a goal of 50 per cent by 2030.

The poll also found that 41 per cent of people wanted the Federal Government to spend more on renewable energy. Half agreed that clean energy industries, like renewable hydrogen production, would be major employers by 2030.



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