State Government positions WA as global clean energy powerhouse

  • The State Government proposes that new Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence be established in Western Australia
  • Centre of Excellence to support the State's energy transition and skill development

The State Government has lodged a proposal with the Commonwealth Government to establish a Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence in Western Australia, as it works to position the State at the forefront of the global clean energy transition.

The clean energy investment pipeline in Western Australia is in the vicinity of $200 billion, and projections show the clean energy sector is expected to generate around 350,000 jobs from 2025 to 2050.

Increasing the number of apprentices, particularly in trades such as electricians, engineers, motor mechanics, plumbers, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, metal fitters and machinists will be vital to ensure we have the skills needed for WA to reach its target of net zero by 2050.

Because of the size, scale and diversity of projects being developed right across WA, across solar, wind, hydrogen and batteries, the proposed Centre of Excellence would consist of a network of WA TAFEs.

The proposal, to be negotiated with the Commonwealth, will lead development of training and workforce initiatives in collaboration with industry, unions, TAFE, universities, and key training stakeholders. It will also support more Western Australians, including Aboriginal students and women, into clean energy jobs.

The State Government has also submitted an application to access part of the Commonwealth's $31.6 million in turbocharging funding to fast-track development of clean energy training and workforce initiatives.

WA's proposal for a Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence will leverage off a $2.8 billion package announced in the State Budget for new wind, solar and storage capacity to upgrade the grid to power opportunities in green hydrogen, critical minerals and other green industries.

The historic five-year National Skills Agreement, which commenced in January this year, is a $1.34 billion investment between the State and Commonwealth Government to expand and transform access to WA's vocational education and training (VET) sector, support quality training and implement reforms to address critical skills needs in WA.

Comments attributed to Premier Roger Cook:

"We want Western Australia to be a global renewable energy powerhouse, and are working to position this State at the forefront of Australia's clean energy future.

"Investment in clean energy plays to WA's economic strengths, skills profile, training capability and natural assets.

"Our proposed TAFE Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence initiative is an excellent opportunity to use the entire network of WA TAFE colleges to deliver the advanced skills base needed for the State's energy transition.

"We will collaborate with other states and territories, the Commonwealth and industry stakeholders to join up with other nationally networked Centres of Excellence to grow Australia's clean energy skills and workforce capability."

Comments attributed to Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk:

"The Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence will help ensure Western Australians have the skills they need for jobs in clean energy.

"Our model will allow us to develop workers with the skills to capitalise on the huge clean energy investment and export opportunities in WA.

"Jobs such as supervisory control and data acquisition engineers, wind turbine technicians, and metering technicians will form part of the skills landscape as we move to distributed electricity generation, and more niche occupations will emerge as technology evolves.

"The centre will partner with industry to drive skill development and support participation of more Western Australians – including Aboriginal students and women – in clean energy jobs.

"I look forward to our officials progressing bilateral negotiations to agree on the details of Western Australia's Clean Energy National Centre of Excellence."