- Category: Europe
28 May 2012
- Published on Monday, 28 May 2012 10:23
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Germany’s renewable energy sector, including power generation from solar, wind and biomass, created 381,600 jobs in 2011, with renewable energy installations bringing in 22.9 billion euros ($28.805 billion) in investments.
According to a Federal Environment Ministry study, the development and production of renewable energy technologies and the supply of electricity, heat and fuel from renewable sources continues to be a booming business in Germany.
“Current employment figures show that the transformation of our energy system is creating entirely new opportunities on the job market. It is the major project for the future of German industry,” said Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen.
According to the study, the 381,600 jobs in 2011 represent a 4 percent increase compared with the 367,400 jobs recorded in 2010.
Sectors either directly or indirectly linked to solar energy took the largest share of renewable energy jobs, with 125,000 employees.
The photovoltaic sector alone generated around 110,000 jobs despite a decline in investments due to the price collapse in the global PV sector. For 2011, the total figure for new capacity in PV installed in Germany was 7.5 megawatts, with investment amounting to 15 billion euros. This sector still represents the country’s largest investment in renewables.
Solar thermal generated around 14,100 jobs in 2011, seeing about 1 billion euros in investments.
The biomass sector created the second most number of jobs with around 124,000. This included the biogas sector with 50,600 jobs, 14,600 of which were in the activity of providing biomass for biogas operations. Small-scale biomass plants provided around 33,800 jobs; while biomass-fired power plants provided 14,500 jobs, biofuels for transport 23,200 jobs, and stationary liquid biomass installations 2,300 jobs.
The study found that the wind power sector made around 101,100 jobs, with 92,500 of these in onshore wind energy and 8,600 in offshore developments.
Other sectors the study looked into were the hydropower sector (7,300 jobs), deep geothermal (1,400 jobs) and near-surface (12,800 jobs). The study also noted that publicly funded research and administration positions connected to the renewables sector provided 9,600 jobs.
The German government has made a conscious decision of basing its energy strategy on renewables, with the cabinet supporting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022. (See related story.)
The country wants to have 35 percent of its energy coming from renewables by 2020. – K.R. Jalbuena