The number of full-time jobs in the ACT renewable energy sector could double in the next five years, a peak body says, after a new industry survey found around 1500 people already work in the sector.
The survey was conducted by the ACT Renewables Hub - a joint partnership of the ACT government and the Smart Energy Council, the renewables industry peak body - and found 250 employers covered 1558 staff.
Most of the jobs were related to solar energy applications, with 64 per cent of workers employed by the public sector.
The survey also identified 60 vacancies in the sector, with the majority in clerical, sales and project management areas.
Smart Energy Council chief executive John Grimes said the renewable energy sector would be a major employer in the ACT by the end of the decade, and the number of jobs would likely double in five years.
Mr Grimes said the ACT had a comparative advantage against other states and territories because it had adopted technology early.
"We are competing with other jurisdictions. So we've got the first-mover advantage, we can capitalise on that, and make sure we stay at the front of the pack going forward," Mr Grimes said.
Mr Grimes said the survey showed what long-term jobs remained in the sector after large construction projects wound down.
"We know when we build a big solar farm or a wind farm, there's lots of jobs that are created: civil construction and transportation and engineering jobs and so forth. But once a project's over, then those jobs drop away," he said.
The largest employer identified by the survey was the Clean Energy Regulator, followed by the Australian National University, the federal government and the ACT government.
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ACT Emissions Reduction Minister Shane Rattenbury said the ACT would focus on research and development, and there was still a role for the government to encourage private investment.
"I think the private sector will do some itself ... but there's still a place for us. We've got new energy efficiency programs coming through, that'll create more jobs," he said.
Mr Rattenbury said the ACT would continue to pitch itself as a jurisdiction to test out new technologies at scale, including to the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The survey was launched at the offices of ITP Renewables, the second largest private sector renewables industry employer in the ACT.
The company's engineering manager, Philippe McCracken, said ITP Renewables employed 30 people in Canberra.
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