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Photovoltaic Energy: Creates employment

18 April 2017

Among the advantages of renewable energies are not only those that are clean and sustainable, they reduce CO2 levels, they reduce the taxes derived from them, their inexhaustibility and their lack of waste, but a very important aspect and Direct or personal repercussions, such as that of the generation of employment.

We come to expose a series of notes taken from different sources and illustrate us about the importance of the role of these energy industries in the creation of jobs.

The report "Renewable Energy and Jobs -Annual Review 2016" published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals a series of data (worldwide) regarding the subject that we consider here, that of CREATION OF EMPLOYMENT for renewables - and more specifically for photovoltaics:

  • In 2015, the total number of jobs in renewable energy increased at a global level, while employment in the energy sector generally declined.
  • More than 7.7 million people work in the renewable energy sector. If we compare the figure with that collected by the same report a year earlier, we can see that it is an 18% increase.
  • In the United States, for example, employment in renewable energy increased by 6%, while jobs in the oil and gas sectors decreased by 18%.
  • Similarly, in China, renewable energy employed 3.5 million people, when oil and gas employed 2.6 million.
  • The countries with the largest number of jobs in renewable energy in 2015 were China, Brazil, the United States, India, Japan and Germany.

Photovoltaic solar sector remains the largest renewable energy employer worldwide:

2.8 million jobs in manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance (An increase of 11% compared to the 2.5 million last count).

Employment grew in Japan and the United States, stabilized in China and declined in the European Union.

The European Union and the United States now represent 25% of jobs, a figure that has been reduced in recent years by the greater participation of the other group of countries: China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh. Five of the ten most important countries from the EMPLOYMENT PERSPECTIVE are in Asia (see previous group).

  • 8.1 million jobs globally. Of this total, in Europe 1.7 million are created, corresponding to Spain 76,300 jobs. In Spain photovoltaic energy generates 9,900 jobs.
  • Photovoltaic solar energy that offers the most jobs: 2,772,000.
  • It is followed by the liquid biofuels sector with 1,678,000 jobs
  • And wind energy, with 1,081,000.
  • Japan experienced considerable improvements in photovoltaic solar energy in recent years, resulting in a 28% increase in employment in 2014.
  • In the US, employment in solar energy increased by 22%, which is 12 times faster than job creation in the country's economy, surpassing the figures in the oil and gas sectors.
  • In the United States, the solar industry, for example, has seen the percentage of women working in the sector rise from 19% to 24% by 2015.
  • The study also provides information on the jobs that women do in the sector.
  • 35%: Average of women working in 90 renewable energy companies surveyed

On average, women represent 46% of the administrative staff, 28% of the technical workforce, and 32% of management positions. This last ratio is especially significant since only 25% of women occupy senior management positions in companies included in other rankings.

The proportion of women in the US labor force is comparable to Germany and Spain, with 24% and 26%, respectively. 
Similar data are corroborated by the REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century REPORTER Report of the WORLD SITUATION REPORT, from which we extract the following paragraph:

"During 2015, employment increased to an estimated 5% in the renewable energy sector, rising to 8.1 million jobs (direct and indirect). Photovoltaic solar energy and biofuels provided the largest number of jobs in renewable energy. For its part, large-scale hydroelectric power reported 1.3 million additional direct jobs. Taking into account all renewable energy technologies, the main employers during 2015 were China, Brazil, India and the United States."

Creation of employment in spain

Our country has not been able to take advantage of its possibilities and energy capabilities. During these last years and with the economic crisis suffered, being key regulatory frameworks our country has gone from leading the sector, to be relegated to a sixth place at European level (fifth at the level of the FTV).

According to the same report we have examined - Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review 2016, p. 15 - and with regard to employment:

"Spain, once a leader in renewable energies, continues to fade, with exports being the only lifeline. Employment in 2014 fell to 76,300 jobs, about half the peak in 2008. Adverse policies in the electricity sector continue Promoting the reduction of wind, solar and biomass energy (APPA, 2015). Thus, the country's owner on March 16, 2008, was: "Renewable energies generate 188,000 jobs in Spain."

From the "Manifesto in Defense of Solar Energy" published by the AEF (Business Photovoltaic Association), we extracted the following news:

"The Spanish photovoltaic industry has invested more than 23,000 million euros, generating close to 100,000 jobs until 2008 and contributing 0.62% of GDP."

"The photovoltaic sector is the most intensive among clean energies in creating jobs: between 7 and 11 jobs per MW installed compared to a maximum of 2.7 jobs per MW in other sectors."

Finally, according to the UNEF's Annual Report 2016, p 78: "The jobs have remained practically constant compared to 2014. Although in 2015 the number of photovoltaic instrosations has been slightly higher, this has not been sufficient As to produce a relevant increase of the jobs in the photovoltaic sector".

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