An extra 94,000 new solar jobs are expected to be created in Europe by 2021, according to a report. With national renewables targets and a dramatic drop in the price of solar energy, the European solar sector is preparing for considerable growth.
The report was conducted by consultancy EY on behalf of Solar Power Europe. It predicts the number of new jobs could soar by as much as 470 per cent between now and 2021 in some countries, namely Spain, Greece and Poland.
The creation of new solar jobs will take the sector’s total full-time employment count to almost 175,000.
The report noted: “As a result of the strategic plans developed by European countries to increase the shares of renewables in their energy mix, countries with ambitious forecasts of new installed capacities (e.g. France, Italy, Spain) show an acceleration of the number of job support downstream of the value chain.
“2021 new installed capacities will be three to 20 times the capacities installed in 2016. This has a direct effect on engineering and installation related jobs.”
The solar sector was a resounding success between 2008 and 2011 but then rapidly slowed down after regulatory and subsidy changes took effect across Europe.
Proposals from EU lawmakers to raise renewable energy ambition could also help drive a massive expansion in solar activity, EY predicts.
Under current EU legislation, countries could be expected to source 35 per cent of their final energy consumption from renewables by 2030 – an increase from the current target of 27 per cent. If the target is approved, job provision would increase by 56 per cent in the solar industry alone, the report predicts.
Similarly, the report suggests the removal of anti-dumping measures would create an additional 45,500 direct and indirect jobs in EU solar (the measures prevent international manufacturers from flooding the EU market with cheaper panels).