There's a quiet revolution under way in Australian energy sector employment

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Employment opportunities in Australia’s energy industry have collapsed in recent years. But while oil and coal jobs continue to decline, data from Indeed, the world’s largest jobs site, suggests solar is staging a massive comeback.

According to Indeed, Australian job postings in oil have dropped dramatically, falling 88 per cent between 2014 and 2016, and coal job postings have fallen 76 per cent.

Over the same period, solar job opportunities have fallen by a far milder 21 per cent. But Indeed reports that solar jobs are once again rising, up 34 per cent in the last quarter. That, Indeed said, “reflects Australia’s labour market response to climate change investment across the globe”.

The transition from carbon-based job openings to solar is a global trend, Indeed’s global chief economist, Tara Sinclair, said. That’s a trend set to continue.

“As the fossil fuel industry makes way for the renewable energy industry, a growing number of positions will open up, accompanied by significantly more job searches. We’re seeing more and more energy companies invest in solar power, and expect these investments will continue to drive the renewable energy sector in Australia.”

At present Indeed data shows that solar positions make up 66 per cent of open energy job postings in Australia against oil, with a 21 per cent share, and coal, with just 10 per cent of jobs on offer.

With solar powered battery storage set to revolutionise home power usage, Sinclair said the renewable energy industry will continue to develop and “gain momentum”.

Initiatives such as the recent announcement by the ACT government to roll out subsidised battery storage, which Sinclair said was the largest such rollout outside of Germany, meant that “we are continuing to see a shift in the global energy market towards renewables, with Australia leading the way”.

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