Solar as a job generator
The European Union is the world leader in the development of renewable energies, and is currently Europe's fastest developing technology. According to the ‘State of Renewable Energies in Europe’ by EurObserver, the number of jobs in the photovoltaic industry increased by 70% in 2010 with an industry turnover of more than 45 billion Euros. Most jobs are in Germany with more than 100,000 employed in the solar sector, followed by France with 60,000 and Italy with 45,000.
The outlook for the growth in employment is also very good. To remain competitive, European industry requires a highly qualified and skilled workforce not only among employees in production plants, but also in the research and development of new world-leading technologies. Alongside highly skilled solar professionals, new service jobs will also be created. According to EPIA, tasks in wholesale, retail, installation and maintenance services provide 30 new jobs per MW of installed capacity.
Connie Hedegaard, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action recently predicted that 3 million jobs might be created in the EU by 2020 from renewable energies.
The ‘RE-thinking 2050’ study by EREC predicts an increase of up to 6.1 million jobs in 2050. Worldwatch says even that the PV solar industry alone could create as many as 6.3 million jobs worldwide by 2030 (www.worldwatch.org).