The European renewable energy sector had more than a million people employed by the end of 2010 according to the recently released EurObserv’ER report, “The State of Renewable Energies in Europe”.
All 27 European Union member states had over 1,114,000 people employed in various renewable energy fields in 2010, a jump of 25% on 2009 figures.
The biggest employer was solid biomass at 273,000 jobs, followed by photovoltaic solar (268,110), then and wind power with over a quarter of a million jobs.
With the photovoltaic sector booming in 2010, a 50% increase in jobs in countries such as Germany and France occurred. In Italy, job numbers increased by over 70%.
Other key findings in the report in relation to renewable energy in 2010:
– Share of gross final energy consumption: 12.4% in 2010 (11.5% in 2009)
· Share in total electricity consumption: 19.8% in 2010 (18.2% in 2009)
· Share of gross inland energy consumption: 9.9% in 2010 (9.1% in 2009)
· Employment: 1.11 million people in 2010 (0.91 million in 2009)
· Related economic activity: 127 billion euro (120 billion euro in 2009)
With sales of 45564 million euro in Europe’s markets in 2010, solar eclipsed wind power as the top earner.
The report points out that 16,700 MWp of solar panels were installed in 2010 around the world, bringing the global installed PV capacity to 38,700 MWp. Of this amount, over three quarters is installed in Europe. Nearly 89% of European solar electricity output is focused in just three countries – Germany, Spain and Italy.
EurObserv’ER has been collecting data on European Union renewable energy sources for over a decade. The full 127-page “The State of Renewable Energies in Europe” report can be viewed here (PDF). The EurObserv’ER Barometers Project is supported by the European Commission.