Renewable energy as a job machine

BMU: Employment effects even higher than expected

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The sustained boom in renewable energies in Germany created even more jobs last year than previously assumed. According to a study published in 2006, they already offered more than 230, 000 people a job in 2006. That's almost 50 percent more than two years earlier and around 20, 000 more than previously thought.

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According to the new report, 82, 100 people work in wind energy, 40, 200 in the solar industry and 9, 400 in hydropower. At least 134, 000 jobs are directly attributable to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), according to the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU).

"The consistent expansion of renewable energies is not only necessary for environmental and climate policy, but also good for innovation, growth and employment in Germany. This impressively confirms the present study. The energy and climate program of the Federal Government, which was approved at the end of August, contains ambitious targets for the further expansion of renewable energies in all areas - ie in the electricity, heat and fuel sectors. And last but not least, we are creating the necessary framework for the 'job engine renewables' to continue to run smoothly ", commented Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel on the new figures.

The study now published is the result of a research project by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-W├╝rttemberg (ZSW), the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Society for Economic Research Structural Research (GWS) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment. display

New developments create jobs

Preliminary interim results of the project had already been published in February of this year. They were still about ten percent below the now determined values. More recent data on the unexpectedly strong expansion of renewable energies in Germany and the export success of the industry as well as - for the first time - the employment effects of the use of public and non-profit funds in favor of renewable energies made the significant adjustments to the first estimates necessary, according to the BMU.

In a separate analysis, the study presented for the first time also estimated what workplace effects the construction of production capacities for RE systems had. Due in particular to the recent strong expansion of solar companies in eastern Germany, this figure - which has fluctuated over time - was around 23, 500 jobs in 2006.

400, 000 employees by 2020?

So far, scientists have projected a further increase in employment-related renewables-related employment in 2020 to about 310, 000 to 350, 000 jobs. The study, which has now been submitted, now estimates that around 400, 000 people will be able to work by 2020, with public funds even left unconsidered.

The current study "Renewable Energies: Gross Employment 2006" can be downloaded from the Internet at www.bmu.de or www.erneuerbare-energien.de. There you will also find the aforementioned precursor study as well as numerous other studies on the medium and long-term perspectives of renewable energies.

(BMU, 18.09.2007 - DLO)