Renewable energy and job creation ?
Renewable energy has a demonstrated job creation effect. For example, energy created through wind energy, solar photovoltaic cells, landfill gas, or biomass plants have a higher number of jobs created per unit of energy produced than energy produced through conventional sources like fossil fuels.
The positive job creation effect of renewable energy is a result of longer and more diverse supply chains, higher labor intensity, and increased net income. Jobs in renewable energy can be created directly and indirectly along the entire value chain, including in the manufacturing and supply of equipment; the production of inputs such as chemicals; or even in services like project management, installation, operation, and maintenance. Besides, the jobs in renewable energy can contribute to expansion of existing economic activities of other sectors. For example, women and youths working the harvesting feedstock and other biomass plants of the agriculture sector also benefits
Hence, jobs created through renewable energy production also promote the benefit of less hazardous working conditions. Employment in renewable energy can mean new opportunities to enter into innovative dialogue arrangements between workers and employers, increasing the quality of jobs when compared to traditional energy sectors. This not only means more jobs, but better and decent jobs/ “green jobs”.
Of course, as the demand for energy from renewable sources increases, it is expected that there will be a decrease in demand for oil, coal, and gas. However, recent studies show that renewable energy projects can offset job losses from a decline in extractive industries and can in turn create a net employment gain, especially in the long term.
Additionally, the worldwide shift to renewables demands a growing collection of skills like; technical, business, administrative, economic and legal, among others. Widening the talent pool is hence a pragmatic reason for boosting the participation of labor force, specifically women’s participation in renewable energy, coming on top of considerations of greater gender equity and fairness, as compared to the other conventional energy sources.
Therefore, today, jobs in clean energy become more available and well paid because, according to European Defence Fund (EDF), solar energy supply companies are able to offer more jobs per dollar invested. The main reason for such growth is the economic indicators. Businesses have realized that sustainable development is key to success, long-term performance, and investment. Besides that, the prices on solar and wind products have dropped—making it more affordable, both at the production and consumption scales.
Some of the world-leading countries in the renewable energy sector such as the US, China, India and the European Union are pushing for renewables, which made them launch a plan to reduce the global gas emissions by 40% in the upcoming decades. It will include building factories generating clean energy that would require creating additional jobs. For example, the wind energy sector is looking for specialists in R&D, manufacturing, project development, construction and turbine installations; financial services, transportation and logistics, maintenance and operations. In the solar energy sector, the work includes a wide range of well-paid jobs, including mining, productions of solar panels, auditing energy efficiency and installation of the panels.
The increasing investment in the renewable energy sector has the potential to provide more jobs than any other fossil fuel industry. Local businesses and renewable industries will benefit from this change as their income will increase significantly. Therefore, the shift towards renewable energy is clear cut, hence both the local and international companies, and very importantly the local governments must react strongly and essentially towards this transition.
Most of the fossil fuel jobs in extraction or other supportive activities have been declining since 2012 when gas and oil industry reached their peak. Therefore, people are looking for new opportunities and along comes renewable energy, with a high rate of increment. For example, in 2016, the renewable energy sector employed about 9.8 million people, which shows 1.1% increase compared to 2015 and the number was 10.3 million jobs in 2017. Subsequently, this number raised to 11 million in 2018. based on reports published by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
China is one of the leading countries with 39% of all renewable energy jobs, subsequently 3.6 million jobs are in the solar PV industry. Therefore, the solar power industry alone generated twice more workplaces than the coal or oil industry combined. Not to forget that the women’s participation is around 32% in the renewable energy sector. Which is relatively high compared to the women’s participation in the fossil fuel sector.
Now, the question is what’s driving clean energy job growth with a high rate of increment?
The answer lies on the following facts that: first of all, the technology costs of energy production from renewable energy has dropped significantly. Furthermore, the demand for clean energy has skyrocketed. Moreover, with the incentives investments and policies, the green energy roadmap will become more feasible and practical in the coming years.Therefore, the clean energy economy remains a big source of jobs in the near future.
image source: blogs.edf.org