The Illawarra could benefit from a transition to renewable electricity through job creation, according to Greens MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye was in Dapto on Sunday to speak with residents keen to support the Greens' plan to phase out fossil-fuel power stations in NSW by 2030 and replace them with clean energy sources.
About 40 people attended the workshop to brainstorm ideas on how this could be achieved and how to encourage Illawarra politicians to get behind a push for renewable energy.
He said the region would be an ideal base for a range of clean energy technology components to be manufactured, such as wind towers and turbines, because it would take advantage of its engineering background and research being done at the university.
"There's real potential for generating a lot excitement around the types of jobs this will bring, instead of Australia being mining economy, Australia becoming an innovative economy that leads the world in clean energy."
He acknowledged some businesses across the region were already utilising renewable energy.
However, he said more needed to be done to set the Illawarra up as a hub for clean energy technology.
"There are bits and pieces happening, and that's great and should give us confidence we can do a lot more.
"But the big gains will be in manufacturing, not just for local use but for across the state."
Dr Kaye said the first steps towards achieving 100 per cent renewable energy in the next two decades would be to change the planning environment for wind technologies and look at higher rebates for people using rooftop solar panels.