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Renewing the economy

October 13, 2020

This year’s World Standards Day and its theme of ‘protecting the planet with standards’ is timely with an increased focus on renewable energy in Australia.  

Already this year, Standards Australia has published several hydrogen production and sustainable cities standards, continued work in the battery storage and PV solar sector and joined the international conversation around ocean energy.

What is both exciting and practical about renewable energy is the potential to protect our planet while at the same time providing economic benefit.

Between 2016 and 2018, those employed in the renewable energy industry increased by 12.24%, equating to an additional 1.2 million jobs in the sector in just two years[1][2].

In a different way, the Water Efficiency Labelling Standards (WELS) scheme makes a massive difference to Australian water use. Since 2006, Standards Australia has been working with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the broader industry to develop the AS/NZS 6400, Water Efficient Products – Rating and Labelling[3].

It is estimated that WELS saved up to 112 gigalitres of water in 2018, with the total projected water savings over 20 years to be 2,000 gigalitres – that is more than 890,000 Olympic size pools [4].

WELS and renewable energy standards are key examples of the measurable and practical impacts standards have on our economy..

As we celebrate the planet we inhabit, the theme of World Standards Day is an important reminder of the role standards can play in supporting our future.

[1] Irena.org. 2017. Renewable Energy And Jobs Annual Review 2017. [online] Available at: <https://irena.org/publications/2017/May/Renewable-Energy-and-Jobs--Annual-Review-2017> [Accessed 30 September 2020].

[2] Irena.org. 2019. Renewable Energy And Jobs – Annual Review 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Jun/Renewable-Energy-and-Jobs-Annual-Review-2019> [Accessed 30 September 2020].

[3] Standards Australia. 2020. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Food. [online] Available at: <https://www.standards.org.au/engagement-events/sectors/agriculture-forestry-fishing-food> [Accessed 8 May 2020].

[4] Institute for Sustainable Future (2018) Evaluation of the Environmental and Economic Impacts of the WELS Scheme, Prepared for: Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Author
Alex Wang
Economist

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